Categories
Real Life

Where Did the Time Go?

Image: Where Did the Time Go?
Where Did the Time Go?
Taken March 1, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

Whew! That was a hiatus I would rather not have taken. The Real World sucks compared to this one, it really does.

That said, it could be added that my time “away” basically consisted of two types of events: losses and gains. These are some of them.

Lost: My hatred for cooking… sort of.

I’ve had to get into some tight routines during the last month, and since I already had the problem of rarely thinking of what’s for dinner, the idea of not having time to rush around anymore when I finally did realize we hadn’t eaten didn’t appeal. Starvation just doesn’t suit me. So, I smartened up (only took me a quarter of a century – not bad, huh?), and sat down and wrote a list of every meal ever known to man… er…. woman-kind, and wrote them on the calendar. Voila! Dinner is served. I’ve since discovered that it isn’t cooking that I hate, it’s not knowing what to cook. Problem solved.

Gained: Several pounds that have stayed with me.

Finally. No, it’s not from cooking – I was doing that anyway, I just wasn’t liking it, remember? It’s all muscle-mass, from the regular work-outs. Yes, Suzi, I’m working out! Every. Freaking. Day. My arms and legs hurt like hell, but I now have an ass again. Boobs can’t be far behind… 😀

Lost: One of my Ortho lenses.

This totally sucks, because now I’m back to glasses, which are heavy and hurt my already bumpy nose (bumpy because of the F-ing glasses, I might add). I’ve decided not to replace the lens, for several reasons: they cost an unreal amount of money – it took me so long to pay for them, in fact, that I’m too embarrassed to call my optometrist and make an appointment. And I’ll probably just lose one again. And, since they wear out and cost so much, I let them go too long and they cause a freaky sensitivity in one eye that makes it hard to sit in front of the computer for long. Or watch a movie. Or blink. I’m going to go to some eyesight mill and pick up a new prescription instead, and then get lasik surgery in another year or so. Take that blindness. Ha.

Gained:  A new desk.
Gained: A new desk.

It was Ruby’s. She didn’t know she even owned a desk. Now it’s mine. 😀 I will have to post about it, because it’s so cool.

Lost: My love for The Patch.

Freaky-Deaky dreams aside, the thing itches, and half the time I forget to put one on anyway. I’m only still using them at all because I still have some left and my mother says I “shouldn’t waste them.”

Gained: A new couch.

And a chair to go with it. To be delivered Wednesday. How cool is that?! I made sure to get a colour that will match the sheddiest cat.

Lost: One of four “I Want” lines between my eyes. I’m told they’re from stress (not from old age – who’da thunk?!), so I guess that’s a good sign. Who says wishes don’t come true? I’m going to erase my entire face with wishes, you just see if I don’t.

Gained: A sleep routine that works.

That might be why the “I Want” line disappeared, come to think of it. Mind you, all the sleeping, nice as it is, messes with my blogging. I wonder if “Remote Posting” is a possibility… It’s not like I make a lot of sense while awake, so what’s the difference, really?

Lost: The “Slow It All Down” button.

Or I’d have posted long before this.

Gained: A ton of new stories from both Ruby and my parents.

So, I’d better find that button, huh…?

Lost: David Letterman and Craig Ferguson.

The sleep routine just doesn’t allow for them anymore. The worst thing I’ve discovered out of this particular loss is that I can’t discuss U.S. politics with Ruby anymore (it’s pretty bad when everything you know about U.S. politics comes from David Letterman). We now watch movies after the crossword instead.

Gained: A new address.

Eventually. Maybe. I haven’t decided on this one. I hate moving even more than I thought I hated cooking. It’s a bigger place, though, and The Turkey wants to go. She may win this one. I have time yet to mull it over, though, and mull I shall.

Lost: The Hummingbird.

Well, I didn’t lose her, exactly (although, I couldn’t tell you for certain where she is, either), but she’s not here. I’m both heart-broken and greatly relieved. And up to my neck in “Oops, I take it back” government forms.

Gained: Hot water.

Gallons and gallons and gallons of it, now that I’m minus one teenager.

Random Song for the Day: “You Never Can Tell” – Chuck Berry

Categories
Little Bits of Stupid

You Want Fries with that Burger…?

Les and Goldie, 1971
Ain’t I Angelic… “looking”?

Ah, yes, appearances can be deceiving, though, can’t they? The dog knows differently, you can tell by the look on her face.

This picture was taken by my father in 1971. I would have been around 5 at the time. The dog (her name was Goldie), was 4, and I think my dad might have loved her as much as, if not more than, he loved me. He never once forgot her name, whereas I still get referred to as “Vel-errr…Kar-errr… Lisa! No…. Diddly-Do-Over-There”. He does that to all his kids, mind you, so it’s not like I’m singled out. He had too many kids, and just the one dog.

Goldie is in nearly every photo taken of me by my dad from the time she was brought home to the time she was “put down” when I was about 13.

She was old and had been through some tough times – surgery for removal of an “India Rubber” ball she accidentally swallowed (my dad still has that – ask him where my first tooth is, though) … rheumatism resulting from being accidentally run over (by my dad!!!!)… poor ol’ dog.

My parents didn’t tell me they’d put Goldie down until 4 days after the deed was done, because I was in the middle of a monstrous school project. They were worried I would be so upset that I’d get a bad mark. I cried. A lot. Not because the dog was gone, so much as I felt guilty that I hadn’t wondered where she was for 4 days. Some friend I turned out to be.

ANYWAY…. that’s not what this post is about. It’s about an incident that happened around the year this picture was taken – and probably the reason I hate cooking so much…

I think we were on Cockburn Island (stop laughing, Suzi), but it could have been one of a myriad of other islands in the North Channel that we “boated” to. I know there were other families there –

1) because my dad (along with several other dads) was three sheets to the wind (ummm… for those not in-the-know, “three sheets to the wind” is Sailor-Talk for Drunk.), and it took other dads present for such a thing to happen, and

B) because My Brother the Trespasser wouldn’t play with me, and it took other kids present for such a thing to happen.

So, all the other kids, being older, were… I don’t know…. gone, and I was left all by my lonesome 5-year-oldness to amuse myself. Under the arguable watchful-eyedness of a bunch of drunks. I could hardly help but get into trouble.

We were BBQ-ing that night. Well, the other families were BBQ-ing. Ours was “Hibachi-ing”. My dad loved his little Hibachi, because it didn’t need any dismantling for storage (we lived on a boat in the summer, remember?), or have to be strapped down on the deck.

hibachi
It looked exactly like this.

Yes. Very small. Very low to the ground. About up to a 5-year-old’s shins. Reachable, in other words, to both a 5-year-old girl who only looked like an angel, and a 4-year-old dog who would eat anything within reach provided my dad wasn’t yelling “UUT! Oh, NO YOU DON’T!!” at the time. As I recall, that worked on both dog and girl equally well.

But, as you will recall, my dad was three sheets to the wind. And he did a silly thing. He told me (ME!) to “keep an eye on the Hibachi and make sure Goldie doesn’t get into the hamburgers.” Imagine that! And then he went back to his lawn chair, his rum, his buddies, and Nat King Cole on the 8-track.

So, I picked up the spatula and “kept an eye on the Hibachi”. As well as any 5-year-old who’d never wielded a spatula before could….

Now, this is about the point where the way my parents tell this story and the truth part ways. Ahem…*

To my knowledge, my parents don’t read my blog… in fact, I’m pretty sure that My Brother the Trespasser is the only member of my family who ever has, and I’m not even sure of that, truthfully… but if I get in trouble for the following admission, I will be forced to inform my parents who it was that taught me how to remove a locked wine-cellar door from its hinges quickly and silently, and put it back the way I found it, equally quickly and equally silently. Not to mention the party I swore I’d keep quiet about in exchange for such a valuable education. I swear I’ll tell. Fair warning, oh Brother Mine.

My parents maintain that I was “playing house”. That I “didn’t know any better”. That I just “had quite the imagination as a child”. Ri-ight. Goldie would have ratted me out in a heartbeat if my dad had thought to offer a milk bone. As it was, I think she may have scored the whole meal.

I was trying to flip the hamburgers over. I knew it had to be done; I could smell them burning. No amount of arm-waving, or sleeve-pulling, or “excuse-me-ing” could get my dad’s attention, and truthfully, it never once occurred to me to go to my mother because this emergency pertained to The Hibachi, which was most definitely my father’s turf.

And he ignored me.

And I saw my chance to finally be The Hero, and save supper.

So, I gingerly slid the spatula under a hamburger patty, and attempted to deftly flip it over, whereupon it promptly flipped off the Hibachi. Into the sand. Of course. May I remind you at this point, that I was 5.

You may not be aware, unless you’ve dropped a hamburger patty into the sand, that sand does not scrape off a hamburger patty. Completely.

But it can be disguised.

With more sand.

On all the other hamburger patties.

You can fit about eight hamburgers on an Hibachi grill. It takes approximately ten minutes for a 5-year-old girl-that-looks-like-an-angel-but-who-has-an-imagination to drop seven hamburger patties in the sand (on purpose!), scrape as much sand off as possible, and return them to the grill, sand-side-down.

They didn’t catch on until the second bite, as I recall, but they haven’t let me forget it, since. I believe we had bologna sandwiches for supper that night. Goldie ate sandy hamburger.

Not-So-Random Song for the Day: “Ramblin’ Rose” – Nat King Cole

Categories
The Landlady

Blackberry Summer

Taken May 2, 2007
with Canon PowerShot A550
©Les Becker, 2007

I have a “Landlady” excerpt. No, I still haven’t got my first funny Landlady Story written yet, but that’s because I’m going to end up with a based-on-a-True-Story kind of piece; which pisses my landlady right off, to tell the truth.

I told her my plan, to take her funny memory of her barmaid job of fifty-odd years ago, change her name and the rest of the characters (to protect the stupid, mostly), and change the ending. Her ending was too boring; it just was. She will, henceforth, be known here as “Ruby”.

Tonight, the crossword puzzle was too difficult for either of us, even armed with two different dictionaries. It was hot, it was humid, and we were almost out of cigarettes. We had no beer (I was pleased to learn, a few months back, that Ruby is not adverse to a cold beer or two on a hot summer afternoon. It’s gonna be a good summer.). So, Ruby did what she always does when we run out of crossword: she started to talk.

I don’t have a story tonight; just a little bit of a memory, but it’s a nice way to introduce her to you, I think…

“Must have been in the 30’s, I guess – I was just a little wee kid anyway – my mother and I would walk up the railroad track to pick blueberries…”, Ruby said.

I reached for a notepad and a pen. Ruby scowled at me and stole a cigarette from my pack.

“I’m gonna quit talking to you, if you’re gonna make fun of me on the internet!” she said, and lit the cigarette. “There! I forgot what I was gonna tell you!”

In her own words, Ruby has “no use for computers or the dang internet, whatever that is. Invasion of privacy, that’s what that is.” I pushed the pad of paper away from me, wishing I’d brought my digital recorder. She doesn’t mind the recorder so much, maybe because I’m not scribbling furiously, instead of listening raptly, laughing in all the right places. I think she might even forget it’s there once she gets talking, even though it sits in the middle of the table, blinking at her; silent witness, non-interrupting.

“I know, I know – I was telling the wrong story from the start. It wasn’t about me and my mother picking blueberries up the railroad track at all. It was about my brother and the blackberries.

Every summer, my mother went away for a few weeks to a month to visit her family. The blackberry summer, I was about 11 or 12, and I was the one in charge of the meals while she was gone. That’s where my hate of cooking came from, I think. Isn’t it a hoot that I grew up and ran a restaurant for all those years?

That year, there were more blackberries than anybody had ever seen. They were everywhere! Well, every dang day on his way home from work, didn’t my dang brother pick his whole lunch-pail full of blackberries?! I swear, his fingers were purple all summer! He did it on purpose, too, the bugger, ‘cuz he knew I’d have to put them up into jelly. It was the only dang thing I knew what to do with them! I was only 11 or 12… but I could make blackberry jelly, I’ll tell you, and just as good as my grandmother made it.

Well, one day he comes home, lunch-pail just all a-brim with blackberries, and I was sick to death of blackberries, and blackberry jelly, and my brother, the bugger. I was half set to pitch those berries out the kitchen window, but I thought better of it. We didn’t have much back then, and most times we didn’t even realize it, but I knew I’d feel pretty bad if I pitched those blackberries, so I just set to work on that jelly.

By the time the jelly was in it’s pail and setting, I was still slamming around the kitchen and stomping my feet. I was probably swearing under my breath, too – I was that ticked at my brother – and I turned too quick and knocked that pail of blackberry jelly right off the counter! I saw all that hot work turned to nothing, and was wishing I’d just pitched those blackberries out the window after all, but wouldn’t you know it? That pail of jelly landed flat on it’s bottom, right-side up!

And the whole batch of jelly flew straight up out of the pail and hit the ceiling! I swear, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!

Well, by the time my mother came home at the end of the summer, I had more blackberry jelly put up than any one family would ever use up in two years! No preserves, no jam, just blackberry jelly. She was some mad! She’d have been a lot more mad, let me tell you, if she’d looked up at that ceiling. If you went in that house today, I’ll bet you two cents you could still see the blackberry jelly, even now.”

Well, whad’ya know…? There was almost a whole story in there, after all. Almost.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Chasing Cars” – Snow Patrol