Just a quickie update to let you all know we made it safely and that I found the Innocent Bystander within twenty minutes of when my plane landed, and that includes going through customs. Our room is not ready, so we are fixing to hit the ground running. First stop, coffeeshop. Second stop, Rijksmuseum. Third stop, hopefully room and shower. Whenever we get a room and have time, I will give a much mo' betterer update.
*smooches* to all!
- I love a lot. I wait a lot. I try to find a lot to laugh at. I don't usually have trouble with that. I pray a lot. I'm not always sure who or what I pray to, but I firmly believe that prayer makes a difference. I try not to panic very often. I try to learn something new every day. I spend a lot of time poking my nose into other peoples' bidness via their blogs. I clean up an awful lot of feathers. You can dress me up, but you can't really take me out. I travel a lot when I can find bird sitters and we take them with us when I can't. I drink, prolly to excess, but I rarely get sick because my body is a hostile environment to germs (or maybe no SELF RESPECTING germ would LIVE in my body?) I collect: gnomes, passport stamps, MONEY-preferably US dollars or Euros, red headed womyn and chicks named Stephanie. My Momma taught me many many years ago that girls don't fart, they foosie. She taught me lots of other chit too. Thanks for stopping by-leave me a comment and let me know you were here, feel free to link to me, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I feel like one of those nervous little rat dogs-you know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that sit there and shake like little maracas, then pee a little if you just look at them? I'm just saying-please don't LOOK at me!
Well, last I heard the boat that is supposed to be picking up the Innocent Bystander (that was supposed to pick him up YESTERDAY) was on it's way. It was due in at eleven Nigeria time, and his flight to Lagos was scheduled to leave at one thirty, so I should hear from him within the next hour or so. If he misses that flight, we are still okay-there is another one tomorrow that will get him there before his flight to Amsterdam.
Either way, I am fixing to get the birds ready and take them over to Mom's-that way I can come home and do things like dust and mop and not have to worry about someone plucking or pooping all over my nice clean floors. I also have to take El Juevo to a doctor's appointment and buy him provisions for whilst we are gone, and I need to get a new battery for my little boat's sump pump since charging it didn't work. We've gotten an assload of rain since last night, and the Little Miss Jackie is sitting mighty low this morning. I've never actually hooked one up before, but how complicated can it be? Oh, did I mention it is still POURING DOWN RAIN?
It is going to be a busy day, but that will make the time go faster. If all goes well, the next time ya'll hear from me (other than Dar, who has graciously offered to chauffeur me to the airport and keep my car at her house so I don't have to pay about a hundred bucks in parking garage fees) I will be officially en route. I don't know if I will get a chance to post tomorrow-I have a several hour layover in Atlanta, so it could happen. If not, I'm sure I will update you all at some point once I've made it there, hopefully AFTER the earth has moved!
Posted by derfina at 8:13 AM
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
So my bags are packed, I've retrieved my passport from the safe, I've picked out which red panties I will wear on the first leg of the trip. I'm minding my own business, surfing the net, and for some reason I decided to check oyibosonline.com, the site for expats in Nigeria.
Yesterday's news was that the entire oil industry in Nigeria is on the verge of a three day strike beginning Wednesday. I didn't think a whole lot about it-at most I figured it would mean that the Innocent Bystander's last day or two on the boat would be a lot of hurry up and wait, but no work. No prollem, right?
Guess again, derf. Turns out it is a HUGE, BIG HAIRY DEAL. If they go on strike, that means no helicopters will be flying in or out. This means the IB would be stuck on the boat until the strike was resolved. Can we say OHSHITOHDEAR?
We discussed it this morning. The IB's relief captain is scheduled to arrive in Lagos on Tuesday morning, so if the IB can get a helicopter out they may be able to crew change a day early. That is if the other captain can get a flight from Lagos to Warri. If not, I may end up spending a day or three in Amsterdam by myself, in which case we might extend our stay once he joined me. (Heh. I said extend.) This would be a mixed blessing. I really want to go back to the Van Gogh museum and take my time, which he has no interest in. I could take a day trip to Delft or go see the cheese in Gouda. *laughs hysterically* There are a few other places I could go hang out and people watch, if nothing else. I am not concerned about finding ways to stay occupied, but I AM concerned with ANY delay in my getting LAID. Dammit.
The upshot is I am holding my breath. There is a meeting scheduled with the government tomorrow which may resolve the issues that this particular strike is to address. I sure hope so. I had really big plans.
Posted by derfina at 9:31 AM
Friday, March 20, 2009
*Pauses to look at the two shiny new followers* *waves* *huffs then buffs knuckles and pats self on the back* *Tries to remember today's topic*
Ahem. Sorry about that. I get distracted easily. Particularly when I think about how long it's been since there has been any positive change in the Beautifulist. So what if I'm related to one and the other may have felt obligated. I will take ya'll any way I can get you-the challenge will be to keep you coming back! *wink*
Those of you who have been with me for awhile know of my EQ/WOW driven interest in roadkill. I pay close attention to all the little dead bodies I pass on the road, evaluating each for quality, in case it might be something I need. This has been going on for what? Close to ten years now?
Well, today, I just want to stop and acknowledge one of these piles of what is left after bumper meets fur.
Every time, for the last three and a half years, that I drive down Highway 90 on my way to town, when I get to the point where I can just see the 84 lumber sign, I look to the right, and I see what I have come to think of as Flat Dog. I always say, in my head (but sometimes out loud, too) "I see you, Flat Dog." This poor thing. I think of it as a 'him' in my head. I did not see him immediately following the storm (Hurricane Katrina)-it was actually about ten days later-but I think of him as a victim of it, nonetheless. After the storm, the traffic around here was awful, what with all of the debris removal trucks clogging up the roads, and for some reason, I attribute his death to one of them.
I guess it is because I have slowly watched his carcass go from something that looked like it once held life to something only I probably recognize as 'dog', but it is very important to me that Flat Dog gets some recognition. You see, Flat Dog has a whole history in my head, ala Harriet the Spy. He had a boy, but the boy's home was destroyed in the storm as were many in this area. Because animals were not allowed in the shelters, Flat Dog had been searching for his boy in the early dawn hours one morning. In his doggy brain, he was remembering the last time the boy had thrown the ball for him and his body just naturally jumped to catch the ball and never saw the truck veer onto the berm headed straight at him. It was very sudden. It caught him mid-jump, and he was frozen in that position forever. He looked like he died with a smile on his face, like he was for all time chasing after that ball...and that boy.
Who knows? He could have been a stray that tore up people's garbage and chased little pussycats and pooped on the sidewalks. But I like my version better.
I see you, Flat Dog.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
For the record: Don't insult my intelligence. It really pisses me off when I'm reading one of my favorite blogs, which has, literally HUNDREDS of followers-it shows them right there on the farking page-and the author makes some facetious remark about their (singular) reader. It may be a little haha funny if you are struggling for readers, but when you are getting thousands of hits a day on your page(s) it just comes off as false modesty.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog reading.
Oh. A wee bit o' lagniappe:
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The Innocent Bystander made an executive proclamation: our little experiment in biodiversity is over. He made me take the nesting box out of the cage. Ahab (I just can't call her Ahabella-hell, I can barely bring myself to say her) had been sitting on her eggs for six weeks, and was only coming out of the box two or three times a day to take some wicked birdie dumps and grab a bite to eat. Moby was eating for the both of them and 'sharing'. We'll just leave it at that. Once I managed to get the box out of the cage, and the bird out of the box (holy moly was she ever defensive!) this is what was left:
Kinda sad. All those little potentialities gone to waste. There is a wee, sick part of me that wants to crack one or two open to see if anything was even trying to develop, but I am trying to resist. I am debating what to do with them. I could bury them, like I made the IB do with the first one. I could just lower them into the river and let her take them where she may. But that sickie inside of me kinda thinks I should just put them out in the yard where the lions and tigers and bears (or snakes, possums and other egg sucking hound-type animals) can get at them. Let nature take her course. Ye olde cycle of life goes on, who's lowest on the food chain totem pole.
Ahab seems to be taking it well. She spent almost a solid four hours this morning doing nothing but eating. Then, once that appetite had been satisfied, she bathed. She is normally a very fastidious little thing, but since she's been preggers, she has really let herself go. I guess she's making up for lost time now, because so far, she's taken FOUR baths. All in all, she doesn't appear to be any worse for the wear, other than a little bald spot on her breast, which was to be expected.
Well, I'm off to finger out how I'm going to dispose of these huevos. Ya'll have a hellova hump day!
Posted by derfina at 1:21 PM
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I am down to ten days until my trip, and I am absolutely VIBRATING. Next week is going to be a whirlwind. I have an appointment on Monday with Dr. Wonderful to get my hips injected and possibly score some 'roids. I have an appointment to get my roots done. I was going to get a manicure and a pedicure, but I just can't justify spending that kind of money, so those I will do myself. I have some extreme turd chasing and chopping to do to get the bird cages ready to go to Granny's, which the birds are very excited about. I also have to figure out how I'm going to get that nesting box out of the little birds cage without having my arm gnawed off. I can't believe she hasn't gotten bored from sitting on those eggs this long.
I've packed, and repacked. I'm debating the roll vs. fold issue with myself. It is not easy trying to pack for a ten day trip in what really amounts to one carryon bag, especially since I keep telling myself I'm going to dress like a grownup this time instead of wearing jeans or cargo pants everywhere I go.
Today I am assembling the contents of my toiletries bag. This takes some planning. I have to take enough of my hair jism to last ten days, but have to get it into three ounce containers. I suppose that rather than trying to take things like shampoo and conditioner with me, I can pick those up when I get there. There are some things, though, that I would prefer to remember to bring with me...this time.
In 2004, the Innocent Bystander and I took a trip to Amsterdam, Paris and Rome. As I've mentioned in the past, we travel a lot, but we try to economize when we do by using frequent flyer miles, traveling in the off season and taking advantage of city passes. We do all of our booking ourselves, and the IB does a wonderful job of 'itinerarizing'. When he books our hotel, one of the things we always try to make sure of is that the room has a refrigerator. Once we have figured out the lay of the land, the first thing we do is find the nearest grocery store and stock up on beer for the room (we DO have our priorities in order, don'tcha know.) We also try to save money by getting stuff to make sandwiches so we don't have to pay restaurant prices for every meal we eat, especially in overpriced touristy areas. This time was no exception.
Our hotel was conveniently situated about five buildings down from the local chain grocery store, Albert Heijn, so we loaded up with beer, bread, and the local specialty, Gouda cheese. In Holland, you have a choice when you buy Gouda, niewe (new) or oude (old, or aged). I remembered that I liked the oude, so we got plenty of that.
The thing I forgot, the very important, very relevant thing I forgot about this oude cheese? It is an excellent BINDING agent, especially when it is eaten almost exclusively for four days. Despite all the exercise we got, despite all the beer drinking, which was considerable, despite the fact that normally I am one of those very REGULAR folks who have a 'food go in, food come out' system, I did not have a bowel movement for FOUR DAYS. Zilch, zip, nada. We were due to leave the next day on a train bound for Paris and I was getting, shall we say, SURLY, so I decided to take the bull by the horns, shall we say, and force the issue.
Now, they don't have Wallyworld in Amsterdam. You buy groceries in a grocery store, electronics in an electronics store, and pharmacy items in-you guessed it-a pharmacy. So we find a pharmacy, and I wander around looking for what I need.
May I just say, for the record, that Dutch is a HARD language to learn? I mean, I do my best, but I am hard pressed to remember the basics-numbers, colors, please and thank you. It never occured to me that I might need more than that because most Dutch folk also speak very good English. They don't, however, translate their pharmacy items, so I was having some difficulty finding what I needed. I looked around, but there was no one in sight to ask for help, so I got in the line at the cash register and waited my turn.
Finally, I had the attention of the young lady at the till, and I leaned over and quietly stated what I was looking for and asked for her help. Keep in mind, the line BEHIND me continued to grow, and I obviously had nothing in front of me to purchase, so I actually had EVERYONE'S attention. She never looked up at me until she heard my request, then her WHOLE BODY perked up and she looked up with interest and smiled, really big.
"A LAXATIVE?" she boomed. "A LAXATIVE. LET'S SEE. I KNOW WE HAVE LAXATIVES AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE." By this time she's grabbed me by the hand and is leading me around the store. "OH, HERE THEY ARE!" She grabs a box and drags me back to the cash register where I feverishly dig a five Euro note out and try to pay her whilst attempting to make myself as small and invisible as possible. But NO. This *eyes roll back in head, searching* this human foghorn CONTINUES. "LET'S READ THE INSTRUCTIONS," she booms. "WE WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO USE THEM." She looks up, concerned. I started to tell her I know perfectly well how to USE them, but she continues on, "TONIGHT, YOU TAKE ONE OF THESE PILLS. TOMORROW, YOU WILL POOP. IF YOU DO NOT POOP TOMORROW, YOU TAKE TWO MORE OF THESE PILLS TOMORROW NIGHT, AND SURELY YOU WILL POOP THE NEXT DAY!" Surely.
I know now that it is NOT POSSIBLE TO DIE FROM HUMILIATION. But I also know that forewarned is forearmed, and my ass is not EVER leaving this country without a blister pack of Exlax in my toiletries bag, so I'm outta here-I have some stocking up to do.
Posted by derfina at 9:29 AM
Monday, March 16, 2009
I am afraid to leave the house, for fear I will be the next wreck of the day. I am afraid to get excited, for fear I will have a stroke. I mean, if it can happen to people I read every day, people who are so freaking SOLID in my head, I can't help but think that it could happen to me, too. So what do I do?
I cook. And then I eat. And I feed my neighbors. And strangers. I took a pot of spaghetti up and dropped it off at the Shingle Mill on Saturday, and yesterday I made a VAT of chicken curry (with the last of my Trinidadian curry, dammit) and a loaf of banana bread. I think I have eaten my weight in curry, and my ass feels like I slathered it on with a trowel. I ate one slice of the banana bread, then realized that if I didn't get it out of the houseboat immediately, I would have to end the day with my finger down my throat. I took two slices to El Juevo, two to the couple who runs the little convenience store down the road, and gave my neighbors the rest. I also doled out a little of the curry here and there, but I saved most of it to freeze, because I am stingy, and also because I just don't think anyone around here can really appreciate it properly. I mean, it's not deep fried and there is no LARD in it. *bitch slaps self* That was not NICE, Jacquelynn.
I can't possibly keep this up. I have used everything in my freezer except various and sundry Lean Cuisines, Smart Ones, and Healthy Choices, so there is nothing left to cook. I am almost out of bottled water. I am tired of bailing out my little boat (the battery that runs my little sump pump is d.e.a.d. dead, so I am having to bail it out by hand twice a day to keep it from sinking from all the rain we've been having) (it's no fun bailing IN THE RAIN) so I need to go get a new battery. How do I MAKE myself get in the car?
Eleven more days. Surely I can make it eleven more days. Ahhh, my kingdom for a xanax.
Posted by derfina at 11:24 AM
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Where were you when you got the news?
Personally, I was sitting in the DMV, minding my own business, when my text signal went off.
Dar: Braja was in a bad wreck.
Me: In Bangkok? She okay?
Dar: No, it's bad.
Me: How did you hear?
Dar: No, it's bad-lotsa surgery. Reading now. Vodka Mom.
Me: I'm at the DMV and can't use the phone. Details, woman, details!
Dar: Go to prabhupada.org
So I did. Now, for the next four years, every time I pull out my driver's license I will think of this day and remember choking back sobs in front of a room full of strangers.
What is that old saying? He comes like a thief in the night? For some reason, that just keeps resounding in my head. And I keep going back to her blog, and those last couple of weirdly prophetic posts, to reread them, and try to think about this as Braja would, but I just can't wrap my mind around it. Chaotic thoughts ricochet one right off the other. Do I pray? You're damn right I pray. In fact, many of us, at noon today, will be praying together.
I spent a great deal of time last night doing searches on ISKCON, Apollo Hospital, India-anything I could think of to try to make sense of this, to feel closer to my 'sister'. I don't know about ya'll, but I grew up in an era when we didn't have all this marvelous information at our fingertips. I got the Reader's Digest version of Hare Krishna when I was growing up, the "My child was brainwashed by this CULT" stories. As far as those stories went, all Hare Krishna followers did was hang out in airports trying to sell flowers and recruiting others to do the same. It boggles my mind that they were considered EVIL, when I watch something like the video her friend produced. It is not hard to understand how one could be drawn to a religion whose focus is getting closer to the Supreme Being.
THEN, as I was getting ready to go to bed, I checked my reader one last time, and found THIS. You guys? Thirty six is just WAY too young for a stroke. Please keep Kelly in your prayers as well. I know I will.
Posted by derfina at 8:07 AM
Friday, March 13, 2009
I imagine myself sitting here, staring out these windows of mine, trying to paint you a picture. I have never been accused of having an artistic bone in my body. *pauses for WAAAAY too long to contemplate THAT* *snorts* It's okay. What is the worst I can do? Mess it up? No, just not do it justice. ^^shrugs^^ What the hell.
I create for myself the perfect paintbrush, long, unfinished wood*chokes* handle, bleached almost white with time. Perfect blonde bristle brush, fine as baby hair. I mentally twirl my tongue around it, swirling it into a perfectly tapered point, and eye my canvas speculatively.
These trees. Sycamores, cypress and pines, with the occasional willow thrown in for grace. They stretch, up up up in all their scraggly glory. The spanish moss drips in wisps and clumps, like the neglected beards of dirty old men. Bits of yellowish green and greenish yellow bite through, insisting that these grays and browns of winter are a thing of the past.
There is a mist hanging over the river, that filters the reality of the houseboats, give them a romantic feel. Someone is burning bits of wood, and pinecones, and probably beer cartons, if truth be told. The smoke mingles with the mist and clings to my clammy skin.
The river vibrates. I watch it for hours. Schools of minnows shimmer just beneath the surface, silvery bright, reflecting the fingers of sunlight that manage to peep through the gloom. Out of the corner of my eye, the alligator gars break the surface of the water. I try to catch them at it, but they are usually too fast-I only catch a glimpse of their sleek bodies arcing through the dive. Their beaks are elusive, long, like swordfish, but blunted, fast as lightening. Did I really see that, or was it my imagination? Always, always on the edge of vision, they repeat the dance, over and over, playing with my head.
I throw a slice of bread in the water. Flashes and splashes of blue and orange as the water boils with brim. The sounds as they hit the bread are like sucking kisses, wet and somehow sexual. This wakes the turtles, who stick their huge, fistlike heads up, demanding that I hold their bread, so they can eat it at their leisure, free of the pesky fish. They bite off chunks and gulp it down, soggy bits swirling around them in the water until the minnows surround them to bat cleanup.
There is no stillness, no silence. The birds outside fight to be heard over the birds inside, the frogs sing, the wind in the branches is susurrous, and I look around, trying to figure out what direction it is coming from. Then it hits me. It is coming at me from all sides. Life, like this river. I'm in it up to my neck.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I guess one of the reasons I've hesitated to write this post is because it is really not my story. It truly belongs to the Innocent Bystander, but he won't write it himself, because, he says, he would have to title it "These Motherfuckers". So keep in mind that this is an "as told to" story. Also, please keep in mind that whilst it may be obvious that I/we find some parts of this funny, in all reality a lot of it is quite sad. As a traveler, I try not to pass judgement on the way other cultures do things-different does not necessarily mean wrong. But sometimes when I am pointing and laughing, a great part of me is screaming inside about the injustices of this world we live in, particularly at the inequity of its distribution of resources. The reason I bring this up is that the story behind "The Song" is really the story of the IB's assimilation (and mine by proxy) into the culture of Nigeria.
When he had worked overseas in the past, he never had an opportunity to spend any great length of time in the country he was in (Bahamas, Trinidad, Venezuela) before he had to go to work, but when he went to Nigeria, he had several weeks 'in country' before the boat was even due to arrive. His boss, the Nigerian owner of the boat and company he works for, was a marvelous host. He basically spent the first two weeks that the IB was there as a personal tour guide. He showed him around the company holdings, which we expected, but he was also very upfront about showing him his two nearly identical homes, one for each wife.
Everything was a novelty at first to the IB. The drives through the streets with guards armed with machine guns. The street vendors selling everything from roasted grubworms on sticks to bolts of silk fabric, from nuts and bolts to John Deere motor parts. (There are no stores as we know them-the successful vendors have stalls-the rest carry their wares on their heads.) The way every woman he was introduced to seemed to think he was going to be the man who took them away from all this. The poverty. The begging. Especially the begging.
Nigeria has a reputation for graft, but it really seems to be deeper than that. Virtually everyone wants SOMETHING from anyone he encounters. If someone holds a door open for you to pass through, he asks, "And what do you have for ME, Sir? Just ONE SMALL THING." And then they stand there expectantly with their hands out. It is not just to 'oyibos' (foreigners) that they do this to. This is just how things get done there. One small thing at a time. No matter what it is you are trying to accomplish, you have to remember to factor in 'one small thing' per person involved in said endeavor in addition to whatever the quoted procedure to get said thing done. Every wheel needs a bit of greasing.
The new car smell wore off about the same time the boat was supposed to arrive. That is when the reality of the situation he was in really seemed to gel, and the IB started hauling out the "these motherfuckers" in our phone conversations. I think what really cemented it was this.
The boat that he works on is too small to cross the Atlantic, so it had to be shipped in on a freight barge. The company running THAT ship decided, once they had crossed the Atlantic, that it was too dangerous to deliver the boat to Nigeria, so instead, they dropped it off in Togo, so the IB had to go fetch it and drive it to Nigeria himself, which was a huge clusterfuck, but a pretty typical snafu, all things considered. As he was preparing for his flight, the bossman came to him and handed him two paper bags. They were stuffed full of the local currency. One was to cover supplying the boat with food, fuel, etc. for the ride from Togo to Nigeria, and the other one was for 'dash', which is the local term for the grease that keeps those wheels turning. They needed it all.
He got the boat to Nigeria, and eventually they got all the right hands dashed and got on location. Before the job could start, however, they had to bless the boat. The IB figured it would be pretty much what we are used to as a christening, but it turned out to be a really involved ceremony wherein a group of people from the community came on board and blessed-with singing and chanting and dancing and copious amounts of holy oil-every part of the boat. "Heavenly Father, bless this deck, and the equipment that will sit on it. Keep it free of rust and dents that it may ever be able to do its duty to carry its cargo." And, "Oh, Holy Father, please bless this engine, that it may..." On and on. The generators. The doors. The captain's wheel. The kitchen sink. Literally. Every part of that boat was blessed to the maximum being blessed ability. Including the captain. *wicked evil grin*
So they get the job started, and it became obvious to him the differences between 'oyibo' and local. He is not an overly adventurous eater, so his diet there is pretty much meat, eggs, rice and gravy. The locals who work on the boat eat mostly a concoction of yuca (which we tried when we were in Costa Rica and is actually quite good), beans and bread. Because of the poverty (these guys make the equivalent of something like eight bucks a day, which is a GOOD job there), theft is always a problem, so everything that is given to the crew is rationed (by the owner of the boat). They get five bottles of water a day, a tin of canned milk (which they call 'mik'), and every other day they get a tin of sardines and a can of Coke. I think on the day they don't get the sardines they get some kind of mystery meat in their beans, and everyone gets exactly the same number and size of chunks in their bowl or there is hell to pay. (They do get other stuff, this is just the stuff that gets fussed about the most because I guess it is the stuff they run out of the most.) Most of that stuff that is rationed? They save it up and take it home to their families or to sell. So it is a big deal if they run out and don't get something one day, and they feel they are owed. To them, those rations that are supposed to be nourishing their bodies to do their jobs, are part of their PAY. Never mind that they can eat as much of the staple food as they like. They want what is 'theirs'.
All those years when the kids were growing up and I tried to holy the IB up some? *shakes head* I got NUTHIN' on the Nigerians. I really think that ceremony kinda cracked something in him. Every morning, before work begins, they have a safety meeting. At the meeting they discuss the work planned for the day, the potential hazards involved, how they will avoid those hazards and what they will do if one of those hazards comes to pass. They also air their grievances, say a daily prayer, and finally, they sing the Good Morning, Jesus song, which (accompanied by JOYOUS rhythmic clapping) goes:
Good Morning, Jesus
Good Morning, Lord
I know You come from
The (prounounced thee) Holy Spirit
Sits on the throne (pronounced de trone)
Good Morning, Jesus
Good Morning, Lord
Now, depending on how many cans of 'mik' or sardines are owed them at that point, the prayer and song can go on...and on, and on. They use it as a form of protest. The more they are owed, the longer they pray and sing each day, and the less work gets done. What I really love about it, is that the IB PARTICIPATES. I guess because he can either sympathize or empathize (with him it's hard to tell) (heh. I said it's hard.) with them, he sings right along.
And so do we. Every morning, after cages are cleaned, and before we have our morning munchies, we sing our little song of solidarity, the birdies and I. I don't always get the rhythm right, but I think, with all of our clapping and stomping and flapping of wings, we always get the sentiment right. I hope so, anyway.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Okay. I have survived the plague. I was going to tell you the story of the song today, but I am pressed for time due to an obligation with El Juevo, and I have some pressing announcements, so the story is going to have to wait ONE MORE DAY. Sorry...MADE YA LOOK!!!
First. Yes, a woman was murdered who lives on Shingle Mill Landing Road, but NO, it was not me. Nor did I have anything to do with it. From what I have been told and have heard on the news, the lady in question was wheelchair bound and that when they found her, they first thought she died of natural causes, but that they later discovered a deep puncture wound on her neck (rumor has it the back of her neck) which is why they are investigating it as a homicide. The only possible scenario I can come up with to explain why they first thought it was natural causes and still account for what had to be at least SOME blood would be maybe a fall from the wheelchair. They are also reporting that she did not routinely lock her doors. Robbery is the suspected motive.
FYI for those of you who can't imagine me staying here under these circumstances: I lock my door religiously. I can feel a three pound kitteh the minute she steps onto my gangway, so I doubt very seriously anyone could get on this boat without my knowledge. Not to mention my early warning duck duck goose system. I also have thirty eight very special ways to say get the fuck out of my house. I have very suspicious neighbors who are aware of everything that goes on in 'the hood.' I also have a bar full of rednecks overlooking my houseboat who would LOVE an excuse to come to my defense-think of all the free beers THAT would get'em from the Innocent Bystander. *bats eyes* Mah heros.
Next. For those of you who have one Kindle but wish you had another? If you have an IPhone, you now have a free second Kindle. You have to download the software from the Apple Application Store (free) and you have to have the latest version of your IPhone (or certain versions of the IPod/ITouch) software installed, but that beats the hell out of spending $359 for another Kindle. I actually like the IPhone version better than the original because I can turn pages faster AND it is backlit. This means I can take all my books with me and NOT have to take my Kindle, risking it getting broken or stolen. It is all synched with your regular Kindle. Who'da thunk it? A freebie IN THESE TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES.
And last. A request. This one is easy. In the process of downloading said Kindle software to my IPhone, I inadvertently lost ALL OF MY CONTACTS. Can we say "OH SHIT OH DEAR"? I'm talking ALL of them. I know that those of you who know me in person think I am a walking telephone directory, but honestly? Since I have been out of the workforce and had no reason to keep them in my memory banks, they have been purged from my brain. Other things (mostly shiny ones) have taken their place, so I need your help. Family, friends, wyves, bitches, Romans, countrymen-THIS MEANS YOU!!!...I need yo' numbers. Please email me at email@example.com and send me your telephone numbers and physical addresses, purty please. I promise that, this time, I will have the foresight to back them up. If I don't forget.
Posted by derfina at 8:12 AM
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Sorry, ya'll. I know I said you'd get the story behind the song, but it is going to have to wait. I tried to sit here and write, but my head is pounding and I'm running a fever and I just can't. I'd send you *smooches* but I don't want to get any on you. Thank you all for your get well wishes. This dishrag is headed back to the couch.
Posted by derfina at 12:18 PM
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Everything is such an effort. *sigh*
I be saggin', ya'll. About noontime yesterday I started getting a weird, tickle-ish feeling in one side of my nose. Kinda like when you get a sneeze stuck. Only in this case, it is most definitely NOT stuck, but the feeling has persisted, and I have progressed to the snot factory stage with a side of sore throat.
Where the hell does all this chit come from? I mean, I am taking in a finite amount of liquid. I am absolutely positive that more is coming out of me than is going in.
See, this is what happens when you let your alcohol level drop. Had the Innocent Bystander been home, my body would have been fully prepared, i.e. a fortress of germ fighting beer, when it was exposed to whatever germ this is that seems to have a preference for RIGHT nasal cavities. But no. I have to go and get all dried out. I might as well have put out a welcome mat and opened the door. The only upside I can think of is that whatever this is will have run its course by trip time. Only twenty sleeps to go!
Tomorrow, I will tell you about the Good Morning Jesus song. For now, I'm going to concentrate on holding down the couch and stimulating the tissue manufacturing segment of the economy. A hanky is a wonderful thing to have handy in a pinch, but actually using one for THIS volume of snot? *shakes head* I think not.
Friday, March 6, 2009
You know what THAT is?-------->>>
THAT is a picture of what we fondly call "kitchen time out." It is a regular part of our day.
Every morning, after I've cleaned the birds' cages and we've sung the Good Morning Jesus song, I go into the kitchen to chop their fruits and veggies and make coffee. Invariably, I hear the 'tick tick tick' (talons don't 'do' pitter patter) of little feet trying to sneak up on me, sometimes to ninja gak my toes, sometimes to eat my baseboards, and sometimes just to visit. For some reason, if I put him on one of the kitchen stools he is content to sit there for HOURS. I could understand it if he was getting lonely or something, but the kitchen and the living room are really just one room, and not a very big one, at that. I guess sometimes he just likes a change of scenery.
I think I could use a little of that myself. It is a gorgeous day, full of promise, and I have been staring out of my picture window long enough. I am going to go run the motor on my little boat for a few minutes, then I'm going to take the big boat up the river and see if I can catch a few honks from truckers on the interstate. Don't you just love my ambition?
And yes. I know. I said STOOLS.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Yesterday started like most others around here, up at the buttquack of dawn and out the door to be greeted by this:
There is an appointed time for everything.
This is just a small contingent of those who faithfully, every morning, quack me up. In return, I am very generous with the Ole Roy. (Bread, contrary to popular belief, is not good for ducks/geese-it can contribute to a condition called angel wing, which prevents them from flying. It is also very difficult to store in the quantities you have to buy it in to feed this many
mouths beaks bills without having raccoons, possums, or rats getting into it. Dog food was highly recommended as a substitute for duck feed, and it has the added benefit of floating. Turtles love it, too.)
Well, today there is one less mouth to feed. My neighbor discovered this on his way home yesterday afternoon:
I can't tell what happened, but I have two educated guesses. The first is based on the location of the body. It is in a little canal off of the river right beside the bridge that leads back to the houseboats. There are several
transients people who have been staying in one of the rentals back there who have no emotional attachment to this little piece of heaven on earth or its inhabitants. They don't realize how much time, money and effort were put into our little road, and they tear up and down it like they are four wheeling. It is very possible that one of them hit the goose, probably not even realizing it.
The other possibility is more grim.
I guess everybody knows one-I've known a couple of them in my lifetime. You know, when someone gets a pet that they just can't keep for some reason? That friend that always pipes up and says, "I'll keep it." Nice people. Well intentioned. But for some reason, they always live on a curve. Or have incredibly bad luck. *shakes head* Whatever. They take said pet, and feed it and play with it now and then, but they don't (a) keep it in the house or (b) keep it on a leash or (c) keep it in a fenced yard. Invariably, SOMEHOW, within months, it is dead.
Well, one of those people lives around here. This time, the animalS this person has 'taken in' are two beautiful blonde labs. They look to be around a year, maybe a year and a half old, both males. Rambunctious. Since they are 'staying with' this person, they have the run of the neighborhood, and they have chosen to base themselves in the parking lot of the Shingle Mill. Typical young dogs, running around chasing cars...and ducks and geese. I don't know. I did not see any signs of trauma, but then again, I can only see one side of the body. I would think, though, if a dog had gotten it, there would be feathers everywhere and there aren't.
Then again, it may have just been its time.
There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a time for every event under heaven -
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
- Ecclesiastes, 3:1-2
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
First, a piece of advice. *tunes up imaginary git-fiddle* *clears throat, and starts singing in a very country twang* "Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be JUEVOS..."
I am serious, folks. I have managed to raise (or 'rear' for all of you getting out the red pens) (heh. I said rear) two sons but I don't think I properly prepared either one of them for the real world. Fortunately for Jamie (my loverly daughter in law) the US Air Force knocked that shit into Ronny. I am not kidding when I say that when he went off to college and we cleared out his room for El Juevo that we literally had to RAKE his carpet. If I never see another Lego it will be too soon. But like I said, from what I saw when I went up there to visit, he is at least litterbox trained now, has a very nice home, and doesn't call asking for money.
El Juevo, on the other hand? *holds head in hands and looks at the floor for a minute* I guess I'm just never going to quit worrying about him. Yeah, I know you never quit worrying about your children, but they grow up, and the apron strings they hang on to are supposed to be MUCH longer at this point. I guess I'm just nervous this morning because I just dropped him off for a theater department trip to Birmingham. He'll be gone until Saturday. I guess they will eat as a group, so I don't have to worry about that, but who is going to remind him to take his wallet? To take his medicine? To take his phone with him? I know, I know. Yes, he wipes his own ass. And he really gets pissed off when he's asked if he's remembered those things. But if someone DOESN'T remind him to do those things, half the time he forgets. And I know I'm supposed to let him suffer the consequences and then maybe he'd remember, but what if the consequence is a seizure? And he has no ID on him? Or a phone to call someone to come help him or bring him his pills? He gets disoriented when he has one, so am I really batshit crazy to worry like this? I guess in this case, we shall see. It's going to be a long three days for me.
So all this is going through my head on the way home. I'm tooling along, on cruise control so I don't get all aggressive, but as I'm coming up on the on ramp, I see this old blue pickup truck getting on so I get into the passing lane to let him over. No worries. He pulls onto I10 about parallel with me and starts accelerating, staying even with me, so I speed up a little so I can get ahead of him and get back in the right lane. He speeds up, so I slow down, thinking I'd let him get ahead of me. Fucker slows down too, so again, I speed up, getting a bit irritated as I am low on gas and was really trying to conserve so I could make it all the way to my exit before I had to stop. Well, this asshole speeds up again, staying right beside me. I looked at my speedometer and realized at this point I was doing eighty, which pisses me all kinds of off, so I finally looked over at him to give him the 'what gives' hand gesture.
He gave me a gesture of his own. Keep in mind that we are both doing eighty miles an hour. This guy has what looks like a paper cup of coffee in one hand and his (actually, in any other circumstances, QUITE impressive) wanker in the other. I guess he was steering with his thighs. *shakes head* I don't know. What got me, though, was the look on this guy's face. He had this absolutely HAPPY LEER. It's really difficult to describe, but his mouth was open in a wide smile with his tongue out and his eyes bugging out of his head. All I could do was bust out laughing, which evidently was not the reaction he was after, because at that point he slowed down and let me over. Then the fucker passed me on the other side, doing the same thing at me through the passenger window, but he continued on his merry way this time instead of making me his bitch again.
I know I'm not the only one this has happened to. Vodka Mom had a similar experience not too long ago (I can't find the particular post because if I take too long getting this ready to post, my stoopid 'puter is liable to shut off randomly again and I will lose everything, so look around in her archives if you are THAT interested. All her stuff is gut busting, so it won't be time wasted, either way.) But the thing is, this is not the first time it has happened to me. Nor is it the second or third. It is at the very least the fourth.
Four times. Four times that I REMEMBER. And I am just talking about IN THE CAR ON THE INTERSTATE. I'm not counting the flasher episode. What the hell does this mean? What kind of scent am I throwing off? What is it about me that attracts penis wielding FREAKS? At first, I was all "Yeah, Jackie, you still got it." Then my eyes drifted to the rearview mirror and I realized I did not even have store bought lips on, so I KNEW that that wasn't it. Are there really THAT many guys driving around fisting their misters? Inquiring minds want to know.
Posted by derfina at 11:25 AM
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Jason Mesnik, Douchebag of the Year!
That's really all I have today. Between trips to visit the porcelain Goddess and reading wonderfully descriptive blogs about disgusting products, songs and phrases, I did manage to watch the season finale to
The BASTARD The Bachelor, and may I just say?
I think when the SECOND 'After the Last Rose' program comes on next week, we all need to have a bottle of our favorite poison of the day, a shotglass and a rocks glass handy. Every time he says "Her and me," everyone has to take a shot. Every time he decides to get all fancy and try to speak the Queen's English and says "Her and I," we all have to chug a rocks glass full. It should be one hell of a par-tay!
Monday, March 2, 2009
Well, my morning got off to a rolicking good start. I got up and fed the geese, ducks (Quack you very much? Why, you're quite welcome. *mutters* 'Bout time...ingrates.) and kitteh, then came in and took care of the bird cages. I drank a cup of coffee and took my vitamins and bp meds, then picked El Juevo up to take him to school. It's all good.
I asked him if he wanted a biscuit, since he actually enjoyed one last week. (He was an odd child...we wondered for a very long time if he had taste buds or a sense of taste because he would eat anything and never expressed any likes or dislikes verbally, although I could sometimes tell he was enjoying something because his eyes would roll back in his head. *snorts, remembering* God, he was so cute when he was little. *shakes self*) Oh. Anyway, he said he'd eat one, so I headed to the mall to get him a chicken biscuit at Chick-Fil-A and grabbed myself a small pack of chicken nuggets. Everso yummy. Again. It's all good.
As I pulled out of the junior college parking lot to head to my Mom's my stomach started getting that ohshitohdear hot feeling.
Remember my little bleme from yesterday and my "I'm gonna try to eat just lentils and wild rice for two weeks."? *coughbullshitcough* That lasted until I realized that fresh chopped garlic and the pre-chopped stuff that come in a jar are not exactly one and the same. Because personally? I lurve me some garlic. And when I make a pot of lentils and rice, I usually, in the name of saving time (yeah, right, lazyassina) I use the stuff that comes in a quart jar, and I use, oh, maybe three quarters of a CUP. Yes, you read that right. Anyway, I had no jarred crap, so I chopped up three, count'em, THREE (3!) HEADS (again, yes, you read that right-I didn't say cloves or toes) of garlic and used about three quarters of a cup of that. I added all my other stuff (onion, broth, wild rice, lentils, and both yellow and brown mustard seed) and let it simmer for a bit, but when I ate a bowl for lunch yesterday, I realized I needed to let it mellow overnight in the fridge. I figured for dinner last night, a good substitute for the lentils would be steamed baby lima beans, which were good, but would have been mo' betterer if I had let myself put a
bunch of little bit of butter on them. Butter or no, I was rather glad I have no heater in my bedroom last night, as it may have been something of a fire hazard. The Innocent Bystander can be glad he's in Nigeria.
So, back to me and my roiling hot stomach, driving the maybe three miles between the college and Mom and Daddy's house. As much as my tummy was churning, so was my brain. I'm thinking "Can I make it? Oh, look. There is the Hansboro Arts Center. Daddy's truck is there, so he's prolly teaching a class. I could stop and run in there, but I don't know where the bathroom is, or where he is, plus, this feels like one of those when I don't really want to be in a tiled up, echo-y public jane. Besides which, whilst I've been having this inner dialogue with myself, I've already passed it. Dammit! Oh, shit. I don't think I'm going to make it." At this point, I'm coming up on a major dogleg in the road, and I see a spot to pull over. Again with the churning brain. "I could pull over right there. Oh, God, my stomach hurts. If I pull over, what the hell am I going to do? Get out and shit on the side of the road? Jesus. Sure you would, Jackie. Or, I could just sit here and shit my pants, but I still have to go to Mom's to drop of El Juevo's clothes and stuff, and I know she will see me, and I just can't go into her house with a load in my drawers. Oh, sweet baby Jesus, what am I going to do?" At this point, I had the air conditioner blowing full blast in my face (despite the fact that it is in the thirties outside) and my chin on my chest, kinda looking up at the road through my eyebrows, and some little inner spark of sanity told me both how ridiculous I must look and that if I didn't hold my head up it wasn't going to matter if I shit my pants or not. So, like the proper Boy Scout I was, (Yep. Ya read THAT right, too. I was a womynchild ahead of myne time.) I bucked up and put the pedal to the metal and fairly FLEW to Mom's, all the while unbuttoning and unzipping my jeans. As I screeched into her driveway, I said a little prayer of thanks.
I managed to get the door open and zoomed into the front bathroom, throwing off my outer shirt, 'cuz remember? HOT stomach. I sat on the throne and banged on the wall and hollered at Mom to let her know I was there (Lord knows I didn't want to scare the shit out of her!) and took care of business.
I didn't get in any hurry, because sometimes these things come in waves, and I decided as hot as my gut was, I'd better make sure I was done before I got in my car for the forty minute drive home. As I'm sitting there, I'm getting hotter and hotter, so I took off my other shirt and sat there with my jeans around my ankles and my bra on, sweating, thinking that maybe it would have been better to EASE into the high fiber thing. Meanwhile, my stomach is still roiling. As soon as the next wave passed, I stood up and flushed the toilet, and in one fluid motion, continued down and promptly barfed up my nice, greasy chicken nuggets. I'm standing there heaving my guts up, bare ass still over teakettle because I still hadn't been able to reach down and pull my pants up, and I hear my Mom right outside the bathroom door asking if I was okay. All I could think of was "Please, God, don't let her open that door."
I'm pleased to say that other than some stomach cramps from heaving, I don't seem to be any worse for the wear. I don't feel sick and the 'hot' seems to be gone. I ate a few spoonfuls of lentils and rice a bit ago and it has mellowed quite nicely, and it seems to be sitting well, although I will probably eat some steamed veggies or something later so I don't blow myself out of the water tonight. Anyway, that's how I started MY week. I hope yours is starting much less dramatically.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Well, today makes three weeks that these eggs have been sat upon, so if Ahab(ella)'s eggs are going to hatch, they should start any time now. There is an awful lot of noise and activity going on in that box (and obviously the proud papa above to be, Moby, is not going to let me get close enough to check), so I'm going to use this as an excuse to use today's Sunday Stealings: The Procrastination Tool Meme, just in case I have to assist in the labor and delivery, if indeed that is what is happening. It also allows me to save the posts I'm rolling around in my head for next week, SO.
Cheers to all us thieves!
1. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant? Depends. For a nice family dinner, High Cotton. For just everyday, dependable, greasy hangover food, the Awful Waffle (Waffle House, for those of you unfamiliar with my 'history' here *snort*)
2. What food could you eat for 2 weeks straight and not get sick of it? Probably lentils and wild rice with lots of onion and garlic. I am trying to get rid of some excess Jackie right now, and high fiber, low fat has always been very effective for me. They are yummy and they make you poop good, as my grandma would say.
3. Have you ever had anything removed from your body? *SNORT* Uh...*titters some more* What a loaded question. How about the obvious two children (one who happened to weigh 9lbs 12 oz and had a SQUARE head)? Then, there is always my beloved, currently in The Fatherland. Oh, yeah, also a uterus and various and sundry cysts, moles, hair...and occasionally, my better judgement.
4. What is the last heavy item you lifted? Take your pick-flats of water or sacks of dog (read:duck/goose) and cat food.
5. Have you ever been knocked unconscious? Only by anesthesia.
6. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? See, this is the part of blogging, especially with blemes, that is hard, because I really don't have time to think about all of the implications as this is off the top of my head, but without really delving into the philosophical aspects of it, yes. I would like to be able to tell everyone how special they are to me (how very relevant, considering our loss of Lisa this weekend). I'm sure if I knew HOW I was going to die, it might color my answer, but in the interest in this not being a post of its own, I will leave it at that.
7. If you could change your name, what would you change it to? Dixie Dahling? (Give me a break-off the top of myne head, I tell ya!)
8. What’s your goal for the year? To travel as much as possible and perhaps to get paid in some manner for something I write.
9. Last person you hugged? Momma and Daddy.
10. First place you went this morning? Outside to feed the *%#^ing ducks and geese, the bane of my existence in the netherworld of sleep.
11. Do you always answer your phone? Once in a while to teach El Juevo a lesson about what goes around comes around, no. The little shit will sit there and watch his phone ring and not answer it, but if I text him, he texts right back. I roll around on the floor laughing when I finally deign to call him and he freaks out on me, all "Where have you been? I've been trying to call you for hours!" Payback is hell.
12. It’s four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it? Probably my fucking dentist's office. I love him longtime, mista (or in this case, docta) , but they have a weird automatic reminder system that must be set up in Timbuktu's time zone.
13. If you could change your eye color what would it be? Green. Who wouldn't want green eyes?
14. What’s on your wish list for your birthday? Travel. I'd rather travel than have things, any day.
15. Does the future make you more nervous or excited? Excited. I want to get some ON me.
16. Do you have any saved texts? Nope. I have some I've not erased yet, but not because I'm saving them, just because I'm lazy.
17. Ever been in a car wreck? Yep. Nothing exciting, but enough of a jolt that I always wear my seatbelt now. It was a classic case of someone running a stop sign and broadsiding me within A MILE of my home.
18. Do you have an accent? I reckon. I have been here for *gasp* THIRTY THREE years. Why is it then, that I still feel like an outsider looking in, an amateur anthropologist studying the thems?
19. What was the last song to make you cry? Johnny Cash "Hurt"
20. What did you do last night? Sent emails back and forth to the Innocent Bystander, watched stupid sitcoms, researched some places in Barcelona, and read random Wikipedia articles.
21. Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom? No, although I've done made some stupid decisions here and there in life. Who hasn't?
22. Current hate right now? I don't hate. I dislike intensely. I INTENSELY DISLIKE FEATHERS AND TURDS RIGHT NOW. PROBABLY WILL LATER, TOO.
23. Met someone who changed your life? Not met, but Chris Cuomo jumping off that building on Good Morning America did. I 'gave up' my fear of heights after I saw him do that.
24. How did you bring in the New Year? *smiles fondly, remembering* With the IB. I think we were still up at the Shingle Mill at midnight, but came back to the houseboat as soon as the ball finished dropping and the liplock was over. ^^groucho eyebrows^^
25. What song represents you? Jesse Colin Young "Do It Slow"