Random Song-for-the-Day: “Running on Ice” – Billy Joel
Bloggers are pretty freaking funny. Lucky for me, ‘cuz I’ve been short of time of late, and recuperating after finishing The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs. So I spent a little of what time was left over after “re-charging” (ahem…*) picking through my comments of last year. I’m paying homage to a bunch of my Blog Family members and a few others with this list, just because it proves they may be more crazy than I am.
These are great writers, all, and I hope you’ll visit them – ummm… although OldGuy’s site is slightly kaput at the mo’. No, it wasn’t my fault. I don’t think, anyway.
Oh, and Julie may be AWOL. That probably is my fault.
OldGuy of OldGuy’s Tree House:
“Oh, I like Ruby’s mother, I really do. And headless, blood-spurting dancing chickens.”
“I’m getting old and my bladder isn’t what it used to be.”
“Actually I’d like to be there when they replace the skylight coz I wanna make faces and fire paper clips at them.”
“So you walk to the retirement home every time you go out ?”
“Geez, between the powerful zoom and your nifty reshaped eyeballs you must be able to see all the way to Moosonee.”
“Whack job eh ? Well, at least I’m in good company.”
“There was that one year when we didn’t get snow in April … oh no wait, that was in Hawaii.”
“The trick to getting through vacuuming is to imagine the dirt is trying to destroy the universe and you are a hero armed with a powerful weapon that will foil it’s evil plan.”
“You must have or witnessed chickens being killed, because I have and you are dead on.”
“You have to love ’em…they’ve been around too long not to.”
“I was intrigued, first of all, that anyone could stay in a bathtub that long!”
“I think it was the eggs hanging down, not the hummingbird, that clinched the grand prize.”
“Was it the drugs?”
“It’s a pretty groovy haircut.”
“I want to know about the donkey.”
“Since I don’t know the whole situation, I will give you a hippie/granola crunching response.”
MotherPie of, well, MotherPie:
“I was the flower girl in the Marlboro Man’s wedding (he was one of the non-smoking Marlboro Men, I think).”
“I swear I can smell the pee-soaked straw.”
“I sure hope you made a video of the rat vs. cat match.”
“You picked the wrong time to give up booze.”
“Might I suggest cloning yourself?”
“Mmmmmm. I’m suddenly craving eggrolls and calamari.”
“You can’t really consider a camera “tested” until it’s been to Mexico, though.”
“I enjoy the shark’s lipstick, too.”
“It’s so much harder to learn new stuff when there’s already so much stuff packed into your brain!”
“Tell Kyla to quit floofing her kid dander all over the place. Geez.”
“Beer – lots, it’ll help no end.”
“Don’t do it – you know it makes you cranky!”
“So I know you’ve written to me, but I haven’t a clue what..aarrgghhhh!!!”
“Fornicating pigeons are far more my style..”
“Hey, I just won an award today!!! Dead chuffed, I am.”
“I’ve sent the lear jet – but bring your own freakin’ chair!!”
“God my head hurts. I’m gonna be driving around half-pissed for the rest of today.”
“Sure, life is shit at times, we’ve all got to deal with it. I deal with it by drinking a bucket of wine.”
“I’ve never seen any riding the trains, just walking on the tracks. Oh, and swimming in the nacho cheese at Taco Bell.”
“If I put as much effort into finding paying gigs as I do into writing silliness on my non-lucrative blog, I’d be living in the West Village instead of above a porn shop in Brooklyn.”
“A subway rat would’ve eaten all 3 of you without batting an eye.”
“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it burn like a wicker chair?”
“Your camera needs a name? Uh, Federwhore, maybe?”
“Way to make me feel like a loser!”
“Not gloating or anything. Wait, yes I am.”
“Say ‘feces’ instead of ‘shit.’ It’s such a fun word to say. Or ‘turds.'”
“If someone threw a quarter at my ass, it would probably never be seen again.”
Julie of What They Don’t Tell You in Film School:
“I had a bathroom modeled a few years back, which was around the time I learned to pee in a coffee cup.”
“I just took the test and I’m a purple brain too.”
* * *
Oh, and yeah… I’m employed again. Twice over, as matter of fact. Yes. Two jobs – how the hell did that happen do you think?!
Random Song-for-the-Day: “Good Riddance” – Green Day
Do you remember when I blogged about receiving an autographed copy of Natalie D’Arbeloff’s book of cartoons, “The God Interviews”?
A funny thing happened….
My Betchiest of Betches, Cardiogirl, was going through some tough ol’ crap at about that time. I had this idea that reading “The God Interviews” would cheer her up. So, being the groovy-cool broad that I am, I bundled my copy up, all lovey-dovey-like and sent it to her. As a loan, as I was careful to strongly impress upon her in the post-it I stuck to the cover.
The plan was for me to pick it up when we finally meet for coffee. It would also act as somewhat of a guarantee that we would meet for coffee, wouldn’t it? Yes, it would.
I didn’t tell Cardiogirl any of this – I wanted it to be a big surprise in the mailbox.
Shortly after I handed the package to Nice Post Office Lady, well… I sort of kind of already missed my book. It got worse once I got home…
I sat in my comfy chair and turned on the Ugly Lamp. Sheikh, the big, old, fluffy, orange, sneezy cat that owns me, took his cue and crawled up on my lap, snuggling down expectantly.
“Well…?” he asked.
“Well, what?” I asked back.
“Aren’t you going to read the book to me?”
How to tell him? He had sat with me, checking out those wonderful drawings, listening to me perfect my “Natalie voice” (and let me tell you that is one difficult voice to “do” – I’m still working on it), and watching intently as I turned the pages, sniffing at them.
I didn’t know what to say…
“You lost it, didn’t you?” he snorted, disgusted with me.
“I didn’t lose it.”
“Check under the laundry.”
“I didn’t lose it! I… ummm… loaned it.”
He raised his eyebrows at me.
“Whom,” I reprimanded, stalling.
“Don’t give me that crap. Where’s my book, Shet-bag?!” (‘Shet-bag’ is Sheikh’s new favourite word.)
So, I told him the whole story…
“Buy another one,” he said.
“Why? I’ll get it back in a couple of months!”
“I can’t wait that long. Buy another one and let Cardiogirl have the first one. I need to smell God.”
I agreed, finally, but only because I’d been thinking of doing so already. It’s not like Sheikh runs me, or anything. I mean… after all…
He’s only a cat.
So, I bought another copy, asking Natalie to send Cardiogirl one of her really wonderful self-designed postcards, letting her know that she could keep the one I’d sent her. And Natalie emailed back….
To let me know that Cardiogirl had read my original “Natalie” post and bought herself her own copy of “The God Interviews.” Behind my back.
I’d say “long story short” at this point, but I guess it’s too late for that.
We now have an extra copy of “The God Interviews”. Autographed, even!! So, with Natalie’s permission we are going to run a “caption contest” here, Where the Walls are Soft, and Over There at Cardiogirl’s place.
See that cool cartoon at the top of this post? That’s one of the panels in Natalie’s book, and she was gracious enough to send us the “uncaptioned” version, for you all to play with. Think up something cool, profound, funny, spiritual, sad…. what goes with that pic?
Leave a caption in the comments (yes, I know my comments can be a little buggery – if you get that nasty “error” page, hit refresh and it will tell you off for trying to post the same thing over again – don’t worry – I’ll get it.) Then click on over to Cardiogirl’s place and write a different one in her comments if you like. Then come back tomorrow and do it all again.
But for certain ( and for certain!) click over to Natalie’s and see what you could win (Autographed, even!!)! We will choose three finalists and the rest of you can vote for the winning caption on March 1st.
Put your Thinking Cap(tions) on!
Random Song for the Day: “Punk Rock Superstar” – Marcy Playground
I must apologize to the memory of my Great Aunt Emma, for this horrible photo of her painting. It’s a water-colour, framed behind glass, hanging in an awkward niche in my parents’ small space. To get the shot at all, I had to jam myself between the fake gas fireplace and the stereo stand, straddling something or other – it might have been a speaker; I don’t remember. I imagine Emma, if she could somehow see them, would marvel at both the fireplace and the electronics in the stand, not to mention the annoying blinds that caused me problems with the reflection shining on her painting, 70-odd years after her death.
The knight in the painting is Emma’s depiction of a Crusader, having his sword blessed before setting off to convert the heathenish sinners into unwavering faith in a God they’d never heard of.
And if you can’t convert ’em, hell – run ’em through.
When I was little, I used to stare at Emma’s painting for hours at a time. I thought, then, that it was Joan of Arc. I used to imagine that maybe Emma felt a little like Joan: misunderstood… ostracized… martyred. Well… “martyred”, I guess, came later for Emma.
She was my mother’s father’s sister, one of three. As you can see, Emma was an artistic soul, at a time and in a place where that was unusual. The time was the late 1800’s or early 1900’s, and the place was a teeny-tiny farming community on the Manitoulin Island – a community of hard-working, God-fearing, good people. “Haweaters”, they still proudly call themselves, and I’m just as proud to be descended from them.
Emma was a “difficult” girl. She was not exactly… dependable. Her moods were sometimes… erratic. Her actions often confused people.
Sometimes, she could be extremely morose. Depressed. Her family worried over her. At other times, she became violently angry, and frightened them. There were days that she was giddy, and loud, or just plain “odd”. There were also days, and weeks, and probably whole months at a stretch that she was just plain “Emma, herself”, and they would be relieved and nervous at the same time, wondering which Emma would be there next, and hoping by some miracle that her “fits” had passed for good this time.
My mother believes, now, that Emma might have had Bi-Polar Disorder, or what at one time was called Manic Depression. I think my mother might be right, but that was an unheard-of condition way back then. And I’m guessing you have a pretty good idea where Emma ended up.
It must have been a difficult decision, sending her away. Committing her to an asylum. The Nut House. Booby Hatch, Funny Farm, Loony Bin. Horrible, terrible names, I know. Back then, though, they were horrible, terrible places to be “institutionalized” – places where, if you were shut up into them, whether by your family, or by a magistrate, you would be shut up with other people that may very well have started out with troubles similar to yours, but over time had really been driven literally mad. By the time you met your fellow inmates, most would be dangerous, psychotic, unrecognizable versions of themselves. And you would probably end up the same way. And back then, they almost never let you out.
Emma’s sisters, Marjorie and Lavinia, would go and visit her when they could afford the trip to Toronto. Sometimes, she didn’t care if she saw them or not. Maybe during those times, she didn’t realize who they were. But there were also visits when Emma was “Emma, herself”, her perfectly normal “self”, the sister they loved. Those visits were especially hard for Marj and Vine, because Emma would cry, and beg them to please, please, just let her come home. She hated it in the asylum. The other patients frightened her. She was going crazy. Please, please, just take her home. But they couldn’t take her home, and they would have to say good-bye and leave her in that awful place, alone.
After awhile, they didn’t visit anymore.
Emma died some time during the Great Depression. My mother doesn’t know if she was still in that asylum or not, but she was still in Toronto when she died. No one had any money then. No one could afford to travel.
There was a man who came from the Manitoulin, who lived in Toronto at the time. He saw Emma’s obituary in the newspaper, and recognizing the family name, he decided to go to the funeral. He knew Emma’s people, and he wanted to give his condolences. He wasn’t able to.
He was the only person there.
Not-So-Random Song for the Day: “Eleanor Rigby” – The Beatles
…strikes me funny that is. Another little collection from “The Landlady”.
“She still hasn’t forgiven me for that time I hit her over the head with a shovel.”
“I was black and blue from all the pokin’ around.”
(About a nurse drawing blood…)
“I had the stupidest dream. It was Christmas, and all these dead people showed up. You should’ve SEEN all the presents!”
“I was just beside myself. I should’ve got a lot more done.”
…and after she realized why I was laughing so hard…
“Don’t you write that down! I didn’t mean to say that.”
Ruby has gotten used to me writing down everything she says, now. She even seems to be looking forward to reading all the stuff I’m making up about her, if I ever get it printed and bring it over. I hope she still feels that way once she reads it.
Contrary to what I told Mushy in a recent email, Ruby just turned 82 a few weeks ago (I had added a year on – and she wasn’t altogether too impressed with me when I told her that, either). Her stories have made a big difference in getting me writing again. My own mother will be 83 in October, and I’m working on getting stuff out of her, too.
I’m able to visit Ruby more often than my mom, though. Ruby’s just up the street, and full of stories as she is, sometimes it’s the one-liners that she comes out with that make my whole day. I’ve gathered up a few to share. I don’t know if they’ll turn into “Landlady Stories” or not, or if you’ll find them as comical, but they sure struck me funny, as Ruby herself would say.
“He wasn’t really a dwarf.”
“Donkeys aren’t very obliging animals.”
“I can crawl around out there and stick ’em in the ground, I guess.”
“I’d be scared to try it (Pot). I’d get addicted.”
“I wish I could get in and out of the bathtub as easy as I can get in and out of that truck. I got stuck in the tub. Twice. Once was on New Year’s Eve, and by the time I got myself out, I was pret’near too tired to go out.”