18 August 2020

Wonder Woman and Moonshine

Big Sis (R) and Me (L). circa 1978
These are the faces of backyard sprinkler antics fueled by 
 Chocolate Nestle Quik and salads with roquefort dressing.

This past weekend, I visited my sister. Its only an hour away and its great to be able to see her and her hubs, Chris...and my mom. They invited me down to sell and help in their town's annual city wide garage sale. I had a van full of goodies to sell and planned time with family. Win, win.

It was fairly hot outside. I showed up early in the morning. We lounged in retro, reclining dining chairs lavishly equipped with four roller casters and wood trim. Upholstered in swirly blue, cream, and sand colored durable fabric, these were the epitome of 1980s dining. 

After brainstorming to get more traffic at our sale, Chris went down to the Dollar Store and bought balloons for the end of the drive. It helped a little. We kept to the shade, sipped drinks, and soaked in vitamin D while the masses descended. All five of them. 

Our little sale was what they call a bust.

I take that back. Dev and Chris made out better than I did. I earned enough money for a value menu nuggets at Wendy's. It was too hot outside, I think. and we were tucked back in a flag lot in a subdivision.

This is the part where we called it an afternoon. Rolling up our proverbial tables and jonesin for fish and chips, we had limited dining options, no thanks to the risible Gov Kate Brown. Although, our saving grace: when you want pub food, the best place to go is....well, a pub.

After a good Porter, excellent fish and chips, and prize winning onion rings, we threw a few bucks in the slot machines. Did you know pubs have slot machines in Oregon? I had no clue. Silly victory dances ensued. Wins punctuated with dinging and whistling.

$1.25 win?

Three matching symbols...
*110 decibles*

Needless to say, my weekend of debauchery did not end in eating fried food, in front of Wonder Woman slots, at a pub in the wild countryside of Oregon.

We stopped at the store on the way home so I could pick up supplies for Shark Week. You know...Girl Flu. Lady Business....but Oregon doesn't want you using a plastic bag to carry your supplies out of the store. Living just across the Washington Oregon border on the Washington side, I've grown accustomed to the differences between the states.

(I do have a point to this. Quit whining or go make me a sandwich.)

In Oregon, you can't pump your own gas, you do pay zero sales tax but a hefty state income tax, and you can't buy wine at the gas station. Oregon is also an anti-plastic bag state unless you are wealthy enough to pay five cents for every reusable plastic bag you bring home. It is widely acceptable to skirt environment laws if you have enough money to pay for every bagging convenience. Conversely, five cents a bag is an affordable way to line your diaper pails and bathroom garbage cans. You can't buy them cheaper. But I digress...

A red-faced teen boy was my cashier. He looked mortified. I got outside and pulled off my mask while waving my sole purchase in the air like I just don't care

I'm over thirty, the approximate age where you stop getting embarrassed over inconsequentials. You know why? Because I really just don't care and it'll probably make my sister laugh by holding pads up to my face like some Orbit Gum commercial. 

Kind of like this, but I never wear 
a pith helmet or white jumpsuits.

Dev was in the car with the AC going. I'm waving pads around like, "HEYYYY, BAGLESS OREGON, CANT YOU SEE? I GOT A PACK OF ALWAYS THIN PADS WITH WINGS, BITCHES!"  

If you didn't realize, I'm ridiculous sometimes. Dev just grins and rolls with it. She is also over 30 years old.

We got home and hung outside until we abandoned the sale in the driveway before dinner. Dev got an invite to a block birthday party from the neighbors. Apparently, the neighbors were all related in that corner of the subdivision. Lots of siblings, aunts, and cousins; all with big families. It was a crazy shin dig. 

 BBQ smelled amazing, lots of food, drinks, and two large dogs chasing so, so many kids. Kids everywhere, cycling, running around, playing Barbies, trying to sneak cake, drinking too much soda. Everyone was so welcoming and genuine. 

 Most of the guys were crammed into the house with the fight on the big screen. Occasionally, the grunt volume would increase depending on who was winning. Moonshine was passed around in a canning jar. One of the brothers, offered my sis the first sip of a newly made jar and I tried it next. I wouldn't have tried it otherwise, not during COVID from a community glass. From the strength of that sip, I would assume homemade hooch kills COVID as well as your liver. And also strips varnish or make you see God if you drink too much. Then our host issued the warning to those imbibing: avoid open flame and driving. Safety first kids.

We sang to the sweet, 15 year old, birthday girl and the adults lit off fireworks and mortars. That was about the time the police drove up the cul de sac warning the owner about a noise complaint. The policeman was a nice guy doing his job, no mention of fireworks, social distancing, drinking outside the house on the lawn, or even face masks, just letting everyone know it wasn't 10pm...yet.

At 10pm, we disbanded and walked back home. I ended up falling asleep at 11 or midnight on the couch while my sister made bigger signs for the next day. Garage sale flop didn't matter much, it was a great weekend with my sis and the family.

Bee thought moonshine was delicious.
Listening to September by Earth, Wind, and Fire (you know why, Dev!)

01 July 2020

Mid Life Awakenings

I had the itch to write today and thought, "Self. You should write today. What's the big gap in writing on your blog? Do you not love it anymore? Do you think you're too busy? Can't you shave your legs sometime this month?"

I talk to myself a lot.

Everyone says they are busy - a natural response. Busy-ness makes you feel this is a solid reason for not keeping in touch with your friends. It isn't, but it feels like a good excuse. It's not like we have time because we've all been quarantined in a giant pandem... oh, yeah. Nevermind.

What have I been doing? I've been going through my mid-life crisis. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I've realized gravity is a dirty pirate hooker, I'm starting to forget stupid details, and I'm not getting any younger. How does this play out? Well, if I was a guy, I'd get hair plugs, my dream car, and probably take up with some vapid woman half my age.

I kid. I kid. I can afford a fast car, not my dream car.

As a woman, and I say this because I am one, I've decided to take up new hobbies, New Things that I've done this year.

Play pool like in my teens.

Staying up late at the casino. So far, I'm up $300. My sis and I are going tonight. I'll tell you how it goes.

Reading myriad books..okay, not a New Thing but still... mysteries have replaced historical fiction, fare of the day.

I tried pot (legal in my state). I didn't like it. It stinks. 

I've decided I've enjoyed cooking but I hate dirty dishes.

I have a business, but it's not my entire life. Work to live, not live to work.

Family is everything.

My kids...oh, my youngest is now 17 and driving, schooling, and working. My oldest is 23, married to a sweet Russian boy. I'm going to be a grandma in March. Her and hubs will make chubby, adorable babies. Holy balls *heart explodes*

I relish an occasional evening mini cigar and finger of whiskey. Neat.

I love Bible apps on my phone and praying because the world needs all the help it can get right now. God loves me just the way I am but challenges me to do better. To love all. Not in spite of differences, but because of differences. Jesus died on the cross for everyone's sin but He would have done it for just me. If I was the only one in ever to sin. That's what love looks like. Mind blown.

I love talking to people about knitting yarn, genealogy, and stupid, blowhard, pontificating, duplicitous politics. There is so much to talk about lately.

I'm so freaking proud of my kids. They amaze me everyday.

I have what hubs has dubbed "an old lady garden" on my back patio. Foliage is green and bountiful. Flowers beautiful. I don't care if anyone thinks it's stupid. I love it. I'm on the hunt for a pink plastic flamingo because I want one. My hummingbirds love the feeder and red flowers. I'm growing basil and rosemary out my bung hole. My climbing clematis, dahlias, and rose bush are gorgeous.

These are unabashedly, unashamedly, and unapologetically me. I decided in December to make a change. I've lost 45 lbs despite COVID. I need to lose more but that will happen when it's safe to visit a gym. Since I quit my last job, I'm down 70lbs. Go me.

All of this, I've been informed by the world, is my mid life crisis. I'd say it's more a mid life awakening. Do New Things that scare you, that thrill you, that bring peace, joy, fulfillment, and fill your emotional tanks. Do New Things that make the world better for other people. That's how you do it at 47.

This is me and all the New Things. (Sorry, Mom. I said "bung hole")

Bee is doing weird stuff now.
Listening to DGAF by Noah Slee, Shiloh Dynasty
(because the bass is sick)

11 September 2019

The Book and The Movie Kind

So you all have streaming movies, don't you?

Have you ever met someone who doesn't have Hulu or Netflix? Neither have I. If you did, you would probably wonder if they were some weirdo who eats with their fork handle in their fist and wears white after Labor Day. Why? Everyone has streaming of some kind. That everyone includes my sister, who tells me what to watch. Not because we have everything in common - music, not so much. DNA for sure - but we both like to watch the same stuff.

My bestie and I have loads in common - no DNA though - but we almost friend-divorced over Lars and the Real Girl. She watched it and swears I sucked precious Princess Bride-like years from her life. I loved the fact the community came together for the main character (Ryan Gosling) even though they all knew he was special and frankly, bat shit crazy.

One man's crazy is another man's happily every after. If happily every after is about a meaningful relationship with a sex doll named Bianca. No. Its not that kind of movie. Go see it. Its probably streaming somewhere.

 Speaking of everyone streaming, I do, like a 5ft 10" lemming but less cute, chubby, and furry and follow the crowd cliff jumping stuff...nevermind. I have all the big streaming services. Mr Bee and I have Netflix (and chill). Actually, it's more like Netflix and, "hurry up with the popcorn, cause if your butt isn't on the couch in 30 seconds, I'm starting this Ted Bundy documentary without you!!"

 I like Peaky Blinders. Outlander. Kitchen Nightmares. Hoarders and Storage Wars. Discovery of Witches and Cormoran Strike (insert big heart eyeballs) And my new latest Atwood novel adaptation, The Handmaid's Tale. I had to read the book before I started the show. It's my one big pet peeves to book adaptations. Or is it film adaptations? What do they call it when the book was written first? I can never remember but they are adaptations. I bet you'll notice how much people use these interchangeably now. It's very weird.

I'm a conservative but The Handmaid's Tale (book, and then show) mades me think and that's always a good thing. I'm an egalitarian. Isn't that a cool word? This means I'm a firm believer in everyone treated equally NOT extra special equally because they yell the loudest on social media. As one with deep faith, I found Atwood's parallels to modern day politics both disturbing and far-fetched. Slavery, immigration, abolitionists, human rights, reproductive issues, environmental realities, and mankind's resilience in juxtaposition with ability to be truly deplorable and inhumane in the name of the greater good.

In a nutshell, this story shows us that any issue, religion, race, gender, sex, drugs, drinking....are subjectively evil. The Handmaid's Tale (still the book and show kind) shows us that no matter what the issue at hand, however innocuous it maybe, can be manipulated by humans, grossly weaponizing any issue to further an ideology, usually with intent of dominance and subjugation, In other words, humans can be beautiful, kind, amazing humans. We as humans can also be...well, down right shitty.

Faith is a deeply personal choice. Environmental stewardship is a choice. The right to have a family or not. How we choose to worship. Alcohol, sex, drugs....none are inherently bad.

 Is our subjectivity, our free will also our downfall? Holy Synapses, Batman, I sound like I'm writing a term paper on Chomsky.

How about this: when we make certain choices, does the result make us shitty humans? Yes. Sometimes it does. Choices are tempered by our ethical and moral compass. Our personal responsibility to choose to follow or build the laws that govern us. Choosing to respect life in all its forms.

When we weaponize our choices, someone will lose and some will have power. Handmaid's Tale strikes the very heart of this for me. And while many could argue the evils of forced human reproduction or religion, the story speaks to me beyond proclaiming what is evil and what is good. Look at the bigger picture: If its not these "evils", its another innocuous reason. Race, Environment. Gender. Education. To exist be it fetus, old, handicapped, or riddled with cancer. These boil down to choice and owning the responsibility of choices. Weaponizing anything, I mean anything, is possible. This is what has had me riveted for 3 seasons.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And guess who is on the waiting list at the library for Atwood's sequel (just the book kind) to Handmaid's Tale? Not me. I've got streaming. I'm waiting on Hulu (the movie kind).

Bee will weaponize her blog to make you read it
Listening to: I Have No Clue, Im Listening to Pandora's Tycho Station

10 July 2019

Adventures of a ReSeller: Where I Furnish Apartments for Free

Its hard to be nice when there are 10 million Facebook groups devoted to free stuff. 

I should try this next time I need a car.

(A month later it sold for $35.)