Hot fun in the summertime

Today is gonna be hot.
Red Hot Poker hot.

These beauties grow next to my driveway after former neighbors committed one of their "drive by plantings."

These beauties grow next to my driveway after former neighbors committed one of their “drive by plantings.”

While I do admire the Red Hot Pokers’ fiery colors,
I find these Purple Coneflowers more soothing:
Purple Coneflowers

After taking those photos, I spent a fair amount of time
chasing bumblebees around the lavender with my camera.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get anything worth sharing.
The good news is that I always, always have bees in my yard
so I’ll have plenty of chances to capture one of those bumbly bees.

In the meanwhile, I’ll kick back to a little Sly & the Family Stone:

Stay cool, people.




How can you keep on moving

I spent the morning packing and repacking duffel bags for Wildebeest who has moved to a faraway part of Colorado. He couldn’t take everything with him when he left so Zippy and I are heading his way to deliver the rest of his stuff. Wildebeest had it all packed up and ready for us, and our plan was to fit everything inside the truck we borrowed from my brother. HAHAHAHAHA. *wipes away tears of mirth*

We needed a Plan B. So we pondered and debated the position of the roof rack and the dimensionsn of our 20+ year-old XCargo carrier:

Like this, except with more dead insects and blood from where the effing top repeatedly dropped on our heads over the years.

Like this, except with more dead insects and blood from where the effing top has repeatedly dropped on and bloodied our heads over the years.

We weren’t confident we could securely attach the carrier so then I did some research on the intertubes. And just as you’d suspect, people are very clever when it comes to hauling stuff on top of vehicles. Alas, none of those DIY ideas suited our specifications.

Then I remembered our enormous duffel bags.

Last June, Zebu flew back from Bellingham, WA, where he’d attended school. We’d moved him out there via a rented Impala (biggest trunk EVER, yo!), but didn’t want to make that trip again. Which meant he had to fly back with lots of carry-on items. Enter much online research for the largest duffel bags available that did not exceed airline limitations.

So. All that backstory is my long-winded way of explaining how very very glad I am to be getting some use out of those ginormous bags again.
Duffel bags

We’re going to put them alongside Wildebeest’s snowboard on the truck’s roof and secure everything with ratcheting straps. Hopefully, there will be enough room in the interior for the rest of his worldly possessions.

I enjoy organizing stuff and figuring out how to pack things efficiently, so it’s been kind of fun. But all morning, in the back of my mind, was the knowledge that in just a few short weeks Zippy and I will truly be empty nesters. We’ve always had at least one son living in the vicinity, but now Wildebeest is a long ways away. And in a few more weeks, Zebu will be living a really, really long ways away as an exchange student in Sweden.

It’s easy being happy for them because they’re both very excited by the changes they’ve put in motion. I’m thrilled by their happiness and passionate outlooks, because it hasn’t always been this way. So right now I’m embracing the Ry Cooder song playing in my head:

How can you keep on moving unless you migrate too
They tell ya to keep on moving but migrate, you must not do
The only reason for moving and the reason why I roam
To move to a new location and find myself a home
~  (lyrics by Agnes “Sis” Cunningham)



Bras for Dummies

I’ll be brief.

  1. Are you a female runner? Yes? Invest in a good sports bra.
  2. Make sure it fits correctly. (There’s lots of good info on the intertubes re proper fit)
  3. Replace said bra more regularly than, say, every 12 years or so.
  4. Own a bra, any bra, that’s too snug? Save yourself $10 bucks and make your own extender using hooks from an old bra.
  5. Watch this video for instructions:

    6. You’re welcome.



David Bowie: Kook Extraordinaire


I just listened to HUNKY DORY while lifting weights.
That might seem an odd choice for pumping iron,
but I’ve lifted to that album many times.
As I posted back in 2007,
HUNKY DORY is one of my desert island picks.
I’ve loved it ever since high school when I’d close myself
off in my room and play both sides.

Today might be the first time I cried while listening.
Kooks got to me first.

And if you ever have to go to school
Remember how they messed up this old fool
Don’t pick fights with the bullies or the cads
‘Cause I’m not much cop at punching
Other people’s Dads
And if the homework brings you down
Then we’ll throw it on the fire
And take the car downtown

Will you stay in our Lovers’ Story
If you stay you won’t be sorry
‘Cause we believe in you
Soon you’ll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing

And then Quicksand really brought the tears.

I’m not a prophet or a stone age man
Just a mortal with potential of a superman
I’m living on
I’m tethered to the logic of Homo Sapien
Can’t take my eyes from the great salvation
Of bullshit faith
If I don’t explain what you ought to know
You can tell me all about it
Or, the next Bardot
I’m sinking in the quicksand of my thought
And I ain’t got the power anymore.

Don’t believe in yourself
Don’t deceive with belief
Knowledge comes with death’s release

However, as Wildebeest said this morning:
“I never met him, but I don’t think he’d want us to be all mopey.”
Wildebeest listened to lots of Let’s Dance today.

Put on your red shoes and dance the blues

And finally, here’s my favorite tribute I came across today:

RIP Mr. Bowie.

Major Regret OR I Told Me So

Even though I saw it coming, Obama’s recent budget proposal to cut Social Security benefits via a Chained CPI makes me want to puke.


Cutting benefits for society’s most vulnerable is a callous act. It’s cruel and unnecessary, and I’m deeply ashamed I voted for Obama in November. I knew this was coming and yet I caved at the final hour and cast my vote for someone who is clearly not a Democrat because of my disgust for the Republicans’ voter suppression campaign.

I wish there was a time machine that would give me a redo so that I could cast my vote for someone who doesn’t help the rich get richer at the poor’s expense. Alas, no such device exists and I must live with my vote. And if I’m ever again tempted to vote for someone who clearly doesn’t care about the powerless, I need only remember this sick feeling in my gut. In the meanwhile, I’m making sure my “representatives” know where I stand on a Chained CPI.

George Carlin – The American Dream


I had a crazy day yesterday in which I unloaded lumber in a driving rain storm,
was temporarily trapped in the mountains because of a flooded-out road,
and then while driving home received a call from the neighbors saying our dogs had escaped and were roaming free.
After the final hour and a half drive in a constant downpour, we got home at about 11:30 last night.

That was the end of the day’s bad news, right?

Obama wants cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

I’ve been paying attention and knew that’s what he wanted, but hoped cooler/kinder heads would prevail.
Here’s George Carlin from 2005, explaining in his uniquely profane way (warning!) why this is happening:

If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.

Have a good weekend, everyone.
Don’t forget to laugh.

America is NOT Broke by Michael Moore


Micheal Moore went to Madison, Wisconsin, to speak to the courageous
people who refuse to budge in the face of greed and lies.

Here is the transcript. If you read nothing else today, please read this.

Here’s an excerpt:
"Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true."
The powers-that-be pit us against each other, relying on cultural and social issues (gays, guns, and god)
to fracture what should be a united front against the nauseating greed of the upper class.

So, while moneyed people around the country bemoan the "greed" of public employees
fighting for their right to collective bargaining, these courageous people in Wisconsin stand strong.
We ALL owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.

As Michael Moore says:
"Never forget, as long as that Constitution of ours still stands, it’s one person, one vote, and it’s the thing the rich hate most about America — because even though they seem to hold all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly know this one unshakeable basic fact: There are more of us than there are of them!"

Here’s a YouTube video of him in Wisconsin on March 5.
The opening is especially inspiring because of the emotions expressed by Moore and the protesters,
but also because he reveals this powerful, spot-on piece was written in a couple hours at the end of a very long day:

We need heroes now more than ever, and I salute Wisconsin workers for drawing the line in the sand!

Mash-Up of Scary and Funny


Yesterday I worked on a scene that was hard to face:
I put a 12-year-old girl in a dangerous and scary situation.
When I reached the point at which someone steps in to help her,
I stopped writing and took a nap.

I often take 15 minute power naps.
But this nap was a deep, all-the-way-asleep kind of nap.
I think writing that scene took it out of me.

So that’s the scary (and tiring) portion of this post.

The funny portion?

Earlier this week, Melodye ( ) asked that we share belly laughs with each other.
Since I can’t find Garrison Keillor’s hysterical booger excerpt from LAKE WOBEGONE DAYS
and Youtube doesn’t have the Stuart Smalley Halloween clip,
I offer this mockumentary about the first men’s synchronized swimming team:

Are you laughing yet?