Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Night Owls Rule!

Some folks have an internal clock
That says that their body should rock
In the dark of the night
But when dawn comes up bright
That's the time that the Sandman will knock.

Why do morning people seem to think they are intrinsically better than night owls? Is there any sin in not wanting to get up before the sun? Is it morally insupportable to be wide awake after 9:00 p.m.?

I say, "No!"

I say, "Night owls of the world unite!"

We are as good and as worthy and as virtuous as any morning person, just differently clocked. Perhaps we seldom appreciate the beauty of the sunrise. We are well equipped to enjoy a sunset. If we don't see the morning mists rising from warm water into the cool dawn air, we do see (if we're lucky enough to get away from urban light pollution) the black, star spangled of infinity of midnight -- and, if we're even luckier and far enough north, perhaps the Northern Lights.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Another Scurrilous Limerick

A hedge preacher called Brother Ingatius
Turned out to be awfully salacious
When he called Maude a pip
And fondled her hip
She smacked him and hollered, "Good gracious!"

Now I need to figure out what kind of an image goes with this...
Got it!

It's not a hedge preacher, it's a dirty old elf pinching a fairy's derriere. Quite apropos, I think. And, yes, I painted it -- it's huge, about 4 feet wide.

Knit Wit?

I'd been wracking my brain for weeks, trying to think of a birthday present for one of my very best friends. Tabula rasa, clean slate, no brilliant ideas whatsoever. Dang!

Then I saw another friend wearing a way cool scarf. Not a keep-you-warm scarf, a dress-up scarf. It was olive green with more holes than yarn and ribbon and bangles, and it looked really classy. When I asked where she'd gotten it, she said, oh so casually, "I knit it, didn't take long at all."

Wowzer, there was the present idea. It wouldn't be terribly expensive, yet what shows you care more than something you made yourself?

That's one of those things about getting older -- you finally understand why the adults liked stuff you made more than anything you bought. Don't you remember being a little kid and much preferring getting the plastic Barbie doll to getting the cute little outfit hand sewn just for you? (Of course anything was better than underwear.) When did that all change? When does a person realize store bought stuff is just stuff, but something hand made especially for you is a gift from the heart? (Not that I'm saying store bought stuff is bad, just that hand made stuff means more.)

So on my trip to the grocery store the next day, I went to the craft department and looked at the yarn. Found one I really liked, it was fuzzy and sparkly all at the same time and blue; blue goes with everything. It was even machine washable. (Gads, I truly am showing my age if that excites me.) I picked it up and turned around to look at the display of needles. I knew that bigger needles equaled a looser stitch, so I got the second largest pair there, purple plastic, size 17. Big honkers. Figured the yarn would knit up quick and look nice and airy, then I could go to JoAnn's fabric store and get some spiffy skinny ribbons to add on and have an artistic masterpiece.


What didn't factor in to my calculations was that I'd learned to knit as a child. When I say knit, I'm being literal, the pearl stitch was quite beyond my ken. I also failed to consider that the last thing I'd knit had been more than half of my lifetime ago. In fact, the only thing I'd ever knit was a twelve foot long scarf. I still have it. It's long. Very long.

So I sat down with my big purple needles and my skein of yarn and started right in. I pulled the cover off the yarn and poked at it until an end came loose.

Hmmm... the yarn was two strands, one fuzzy, ephemeral mohair and the other knobbly cotton with sparkly metallic stuff twisted in. The two strands were not twisted together, they lay side by side like friendly dogs. Oh. Okay.

Inside the wrapper were directions for a diagonally knit scarf. I got as far as, "Cast on 18 stitches," then the directions turned into pure gobbledygook.

The casting on 18 stitches, I could do. I cast on 20 just for good measure.

Then I sat there looking at my big purple needles with yarn wrapped around one of them.

Now what?

It's like riding a bike, I told myself. Just stick that naked needle in and wrap the yarn around it and away you'll go -- as long as you don't try any of that tricky pearl stuff...

Know what?

It worked. Not without a whole lot of cussing and fussing. Not quickly. The airy holes are in a wide variety of sizes and the edges aren't quite even, but it did work. I have about 18 inches of very organic looking (to be politically correct) fuzzy, sparkly, blue scarf knit so far. I have two skeins of yarn. I'll either keep going until I've knit them up or until I decide it's long enough, whichever comes first. I can guarantee it won't be twelve feet long though.

Ah, ha! I just had another Brilliant Idea! Fringe! Fringe adds length and you don't have to knit it, just knot it. Cool.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Picnic Table Report

Upon moving to Utah, the Engineer and I became very popular - more in the winter than in the summer. Amazing how many skiing friends we have who would love to come to visit us when the cold winds blow.

For the Engineer's skiing friends (and my nonskiing friends who hate winter) I instituted "The Picnic Table Report" the second winter we lived here. Below is today's report:

We have yet to have a really noteworthy PNTR this winter. Previous years we had some real snow.

2003 had a notable snow,

and 2004 - yes, there is a picnic table under there.

I think New York snitched our snow this year (and then complained when they got it.)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Kitty Treasure Chests

Cats are natural born treasure hunters. They are ever willing and eager to climb into any box, bag, cupboard, drawer or closet. Even if they're more than half scared, they have to investigate. They stretch out all long and lean with their eyes and ears on radar setting, their necks almost as long as a giraffe's, to peer into mystery.

Some of them, however, have figured out where the treasure is buried.

Humans hide treasures in cans
Try to ward them with "No!" and with bans
But felines are quick
And they know the trick
To slyly accomplish their plans.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Is This Limerick Autobiographical?

Her husband he tended to snore
Each night he would rumble and roar
Until her ears bled
And she beat on his head
And like Poe's raven screamed, "Nevermore!"

We are essentially living in one room due to the construction on the house. Have been since the end of November. In the room there is a 70 year old, full size, spool bed (the mattress is much younger, thank goodness), a much older oak washstand with a small old oak table in front of it. My computer is on the washstand, the keyboard is on the little oak table and I'm typing in the dark as the Engineer snores like a whole pride of lions beside me.

His snoring at times can be truly astounding. When we go camping, I never have to worry about bears in the night because I'm sure he will frighten them off. Before we got married and moved from his family's vacation cabin to a tent, he slept in the communal sleeping attic. The sweet little old grand-auntie who owns the cabin slept up there also. His snoring has been so bad that she has been known to throw shoes at him. Hit him too. When we set up the tent and moved outside, I thought she was going to shoot off fireworks in her celebration.

I never have hit him for the snoring. No matter how great the temptation, the worst I have done is poked him -- hard. Brianna, however, was not so restrained. It's one of the many things I miss that cat for. She always slept on her very own pillow at the head of the bed. When the Engineer's snoring became too loud and too persistent, she would stand up, glare at him, then haul back her paw, and POW!, whack him right on the head. He would usually sit up and say, in a very hurt voice, "The cat hit me!" I don't know why he complained, she never used her claws.
So I guess the limerick is semi-autobiographical.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ranting and Venting

I haven't felt like writing for the last couple of days. Mostly I seem to write silly, lightweight stuff. I'm not a great philosopher, I'm not out to save or even try to change the world. If I give somebody a chuckle, that's success. But Monday, some 18 year old kid walked into the mall and blew away five people and put some pretty serious holes in four others before the police shot him dead. He didn't know any of the people he shot and nobody knows why he did it. No more details from me, read the newspaper article if you want details:

Thank goodness I knew none of the victims. The tragedy feels too close already. I've been to Trolley Square many times, most of my friends have been there often too. Two friends have daughters who frequent the mall and they were pretty darned worried until they got hold of their girls and were assured they were all right, nowhere near the scene of the carnage.

Why does somebody do something like that? What could fill someone with so much hate that he kills another person, a person he doesn't know, just to kill someone? Are the people he kills real to him or are they just figures in a live action video game?

Anger and wanting to hurt someone I can understand. I doubt there's anyone who has a sibling that hasn't at sometime wanted to knock their block off. When I was a kid, I hit my brother and sister more than once, and I wanted to hit them a whole lot more often than I ever did. But I never really hurt them, never left bruises or caused pain that lasted for more than the instant of infliction. There have been times I've wanted to pop the Engineer. Never have, though. That's why I keep my baseball bat in the back corner of the farthest away closet in the basement behind mounds of stuff -- I figure by the time I could dig it out, the mad would have worn off to the point I wouldn't use it. So far I haven't, so my strategy must work.

To want to do violence to a person you don't even know baffles me. I can see wanting to slap President Bush or Rush Limbaugh upside the head -- maybe knock a little sense into them -- but I would never do it. And it's not like they're strangers to me, I know who they are and I don't like them, more to the point, I don't like the things they do and say, so it wouldn't be anonymous. That urge I will never act on wouldn't be randomly directed. It's not the Secret Service that stops me from considering it for real, it's my conscience. There have been a few occasions that I've been in a crummy mood to start with and flipped off some idiot who made a stupid move while they were driving, and yeah, I've described their ancestry and personal habits under my breath and wished for an instant traffic cop to sic on 'em. But never would I actually take physical action against them.

How could I live with myself if I hurt or killed another person?

Of course that kid at Trolley Square doesn't have to live with himself, the police took care of that. Maybe that's what his final intention was. If so, he sure chose a lousy way to accomplish it.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hold Your Nose For This Limerick

One night Joe got terribly drunk
And he said, "Here sweet puss," to a skunk
The skunk took offense
And turned to dispense
A reply to that stinker that stunk.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Mae West Segue: Why don't you come up sometime and see me?

A tattered paperback that I've treasured for years is The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West by Joseph Weintraub. It contains a brief biography, but the bulk of the book is quotes and pictures. So, for your edification and entertainment, here are a few of my favorites:

When I'm good I'm very good, but when I'm bad I'm better.

It's not the men in my life that counts, it's the life in my men.

I used to be Snow White but I drifted.

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.

I'm a girl who lost her reputation and never missed it.

Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

It's hard to be funny when you have to be "clean."

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Oscar Induced Musings About Actresses

The other day, someone asked me who my favorite movie star was.
"Male or female?" I asked.


I didn't have to give it much thought, "Katherine Hepburn and Mae West."


Hilary Swank, Scarlett Johansson, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Diane Keaton, Julia Roberts -- yes, I know who the popular modern actresses are. And many of them are darn fine actresses. And some of them are just cute, bouncy and buxom. Same as it's been since actresses first trod the boards. But none of the current crop can hold a candle, in my opinion anyway, to Hepburn and West.

In many ways, the two women seem to be at antipodes.

Katherine Hepburn: upper crust, upper class, educated, immaculate diction and grammar, tailored, athletic and classy, four time Oscar winner for Best Actress.

Mae West (during her film career): working class, aggressively uneducated, gutter grammar, middle aged, zaftig, bold, sybaritic, and a sex symbol for the country and in her own mind, (Oscar-schmosker who needs one of them things?)

But I think there were more similarities than differences between them.

Both of them were strong, self confident, independent women at a time when women were second class citizens. They both had a sense of humor not only about the world in general, but about themselves. They were intelligent, strong willed and hard working. They were shrewd. Each marched to the beat of her own drummer without excuse or apology and made her mark on the world -- and not a little money in the process.

They were both, in their seemingly disparate ways, magnificent.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Do You Know This Guy?

There once was a silly old fart
Whose hairline began at the part
He combed over the top
Held it down with a drop
Of glue and he thought he looked smart.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Spinning My Wheels Tonight...

February 2nd and my first blog entry for the month. It would appear that I haven't quite kept up with my resolution to make an entry a day. The grand total was 22 for January. I started on the third, which made 28 potential days, so I'm six entries short. Or, to look at it another way, I have a better than 75% success rate. That's not so bad for my first month. The blog and I are both works in progress.

It is a lot tougher than I had initially thought to come up with something to write about every night. I've started keeping a list of ideas. Here's what I have on it at this point.

The Y chromosome
The joyous teenager with the bouncing bosom
rock pockets and carbon monoxide
Killing the spouse with moldy beer.
Loaning books
Cotton bras and shirt wrinkles
(Did you ever have one of those "well, duh" epiphanies?)
Eating weird stuff

I think some of them have potential, but they haven't stewed long enough in my brain to come out yet.

I've been working on some limericks too. Got all scientific and devised a methodology. I have a template set up:

Line 1
Line 2
Line 3
Line 4
Line 5
(Woo-hoo, is that inspiring.)

If an interesting phrase or couplet pops into my head, I write it down on the appropriate line(s) and hope for a flash of brilliance to fill in the rest of the lines.

So far I'm still waiting.

I have managed to post a picture of some sort with every entry, though, whether it goes with the topic or not. This yellow rose obviously doesn't. But it's pretty.