Thursday, June 26, 2008

Talk Thursday: Hot Summer Nights

Summer in Los Angeles can get blacktop jungle hot, with little relief at night. June through August in our neighborhood meant backyard sleepovers several times a month over the summer, usually in the Furby backyard. My mom laid out tarps to keep the dew from soaking our blankets, slumber bags and sleeping bags. Then she brought out huge bowls of popcorn and cups of lemonade before we were too deep into storytelling and trying to gross each other out. Above our heads Orion and the Big Dipper peeked through the Chinese elm’s canopy to where we laid just outside the back door.

There were usually eighteen children of assorted ages munching popcorn while telling each other campfire stories. Each tale growing spookier than the one prior as the sky grew dark and the night older. George, Mike, and I were the oldest at thirteen and we were getting obvious pleasure at telling some really spooky tales. The sky was pretty dark, so I’m judging it was a round 10 o’clock when my father came out the back door with another bowl of popcorn and one hell of a spooky story.

Growing up in the back hills of West Virginia my dad was the youngest of eight children and use to walking long distances to get from one place to another. Remembering back that night, he reckoned he’d been about twelve or thirteen and had been picking beans in the fields on the far side of town, on the opposite side of the valley. It had been a hot dusty summer day, with a mile or so more to walk he realized he was hungry, thirsty, and he was dead tired. The sun was beginning to ease low over the mountaintops; the shadows were growing long across the dusty road when up ahead he could see a boy nearing the bend in the road. The shadows were getting deep, but the closer he got he was certain he recognized him from somewhere.

Unable to lay a name to him, but feeling a familiarity my father picked up his pace in an attempt to catch up with the boy. The faster my father walked, the faster the boy walked. If my father jogged, the boy ahead of him kicked up his heels to a jog without even turning around to see who was chasing him. The heat of the evening and the length of the workday had sapped the energy out of my father, but curiosity made him run to catch up with the boy ahead of him. Then just as the boy reached the bend in the road, he vanished.

Vanished into thin air. My father reached the bend in the road. Nothing. Looking ahead into the dusk, there was no one walking ahead. My dad was alone in the growing night, there was no friend walking with him, no one running ahead to get away. He was alone in the night. No crickets chirped in the ticket. No hoot owl hoo-hoo’d from the pines, his only company was the summer night that lay hot and heavy on the air.

Some of the younger children had fallen asleep on their sleeping bags, popcorn kernels and empty cups were scattered between. The older children sat there hanging on each of my dad’s words, feeling the silent, hot West Virginia night wrap around them from three thousand miles and three decades before. He said it wasn’t until the next day that he discovered it was at that very bend in the road that Daniel Smith had died. Died walking at dusk around the bend on that dirt road when he was hit by a car just two nights before. No one knows who hit Daniel Smith, they just know he walks that same stretch of lonely West Virginia back road, night after night, looking for his way home from the bean fields.

As most of you know my father passed away December 29th at 5:30am this last year. Tonight he would have quietly celebrated his 75 birthday. Happy Birthday dad, I miss you, but you live forever in my heart and memory like those hot summer nights when you would hold the neighborhood children captive with your story telling those four short decades ago.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Being female allots me those days where I can be emotional. Days where Hallmark and long distance call commercials tend to make me sob at the drop of a hankie. It just gets worse in menopause and there’s not enough chocolate in the world to make it better.

Tonight, Tuesday, as is the norm it is quiet. Ducky stays off the highway (ergo he’s in Eugene), the house is quiet, and I am compiling my Wednesday Links. Because I listen to music all day long at work, I tend to not (despite a great collection of cds) to play anything that would disturb the quiet at home. But today was one of those days. At 11:26 I had programmed in John Flynn’s Dover into my rotation, the song rips my heart out. So there I sit at 11:30 with tears clogging both my throat and eyes, and an interview to do on-air. The best laid plans of mice and me. So tonight the quiet was quite loud and I went looking for a CD to pop into the ROM. David Bowie won’t cut it, Matchbox Twenty’s in the truck, and well the hell is my Jason Mraz?

So instead of rocking out I opt for the Brothers Four. You know me, I love folk. First I bounce around with Tie Me Kangaroo Down, then Whiskey in the Jar comes on and I think of my daughter Psam (no she’s not into the whiskey jar – but she’s probably the only person I know who use to collect versions of Whiskey in the Jar then played it for her toddler.) Then right after a rousing rendition of Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land (which makes me think of my grandson – who knows most of the words – LOUDLY) the Brothers Four prelude the next cut with, and I quote, “Many times there are perfect songs for the perfect time. This song is probably more perfect now than for any time, we wish peace to the world” and then they began playing Pete Seeger’s Where Have All The Flowers Gone? And I began to cry for the world. They sang in beautiful four-part harmony, in rounds of glorious words, heartbreak, hope, and the circuits of time.

Someone please pass the friggin’ chocolate.

At this moment of my writing the current death toll in Bush’s face saving War for oil, er I mean the battle against Terrorism (if it’s against terrorism how come Bush and Chaney are still in office, and not incarcerated somewhere? And where will they hold the war crimes trials against them? Crawford, Texas seems appropriate we could send the idiot back to his village.)

American deaths: 4109
Iraqi deaths: Between 85,153 & 92,883 (there is no official count – because apparently no one deems this important)

The cost in American dollars: $531,154,284,979.00 (but that was like so yesterday)

Below is a related item from the Iraq War Coalition Casualty website

They have this great ticker that I could not get to work on my site, so I STOLE the info for you from the ticker...

Rumsfeld 01 / 2003 The war: "Something under $50 billion for the cost."
· Fact: Now over $531 billion. Every year costs more

Rumsfeld 02 / 2003 "The war: "It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
· Fact:Insurgency could go for 12 years. –Rumsfeld, '05.

Wolfowitz 03 / 2003 I think it'll go relatively quickly, …
Weeks rather than months.
·Fact: Iraq war: as long as WWII on this Nov. 24th.

Bush 05 / 2003 Iraq: "can really finance its own reconstruction
· Fact: We paid for it, and the lights go out 16 hours/day.

Bush 05 / 2003 "Good news to the men and women who fought ... their mission is complete.
· Fact: Over 2500 Americans have died since then.

Bush 07 / 2003 Some feel like they can attack us -- bring 'em on.
· Fact: Tough talk … sent the wrong signal. –Bush, '06

Rumsfeld 07 / 2003 I don't do quagmires.
· Fact: Troop cuts? Maybe spring 2007. –Gen. Abizaid

Bush 11 / 2003 We've reached another great turning point.
· Fact: Insurgents "expanding attacks." —Gen. Abizaid

Cheney 06 / 2004 Two days ahead of schedule, the world witnessed the arrival of a free and sovereign Iraq.
· Fact: 'Ahead' and secret — afraid of insurgents.

Bush 01 / 2005 Tomorrow the world will witness a turning point in the history of Iraq.
· Fact: More ties to Iran—Shiite extremists elected.

Rumsfeld 02 / 2005 On January 30th in Iraq, the world witnessed ... a major turning point.Tomorrow the world will witness a turning point in the history of Iraq.
· Fact: Iraqi casualties up: 51 before, 58/day after. –DOD

Cheney 05 / 2005 They're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.
· Fact: Not so. –Abizaid 12 more years. –Rumsfeld

Bush 05 / 2005 You got to keep repeating things over and over and over ... to kind of catapult the propaganda.
· Fact: Bush's most repeated phrase is — "I repeat..."

Bush 12 / 2005 This will be recorded as a turning point in the history of Iraq ... and the history of freedom.
· Fact: After 2005, sectarian incidents up 500%. –DOD

Cheney 12 / 2005 The elections were the turning point. … 2005 was the turning point.
· Fact: Election caused sectarian violence upturn. –DIA

Cheney 03 / 2006 Q: Do you still believe the insurgency is in its final throes? Cheney: Yes.
· Fact: Insurgency strong, potent, viable. –DOD –GAO

Bush 05 / 2006 This is a turning point for the Iraqi people.
· Fact: More ties to Iran Shiite Prime-Minister elected.

Bush 05 / 2006 We have now reached a turning point in the struggle between freedom and terror.
· Fact: 42% increase in Iraqis killed.

Cheney 09 / 2006 If we had to do it over again we would do exactly the same thing.
· Fact: Iraq fuels jihad. —All US Intelligence !

Mind Numbing, thank you Zfacts

I do pray for peace for the world. November can't come fast enough.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Talk Thursday - Change

Change, I battle against the change, for the change, I despair the change, and pray for the absolution – evolution – and revolution of the change. Change - my own metamorphose incomplete until the cycled of ashes is done.

In my youth I was excited at the thought of the new; new places to see - new places to live, new jobs to do, new things to learn, new people to meet. Now, I Entishly dig my toes in to the loam of my yard, grabbing as roots into the sandy soil holding firm to stay happily put for these twenty seven years past. I have no desire to have a bigger house, just a bigger garden with lots of time to till and deadhead. Time and knowledge to herd my Chaintrees, make my posies perky, and listen to the birds thrill in the forest. My home is a temple of peace for the soul.

Twenty seven years that have laid witness to change. Marital changes, spiritual growth, change for my better. And yet, sadly I find I have failed to live up to my ideals, I have not walked my talk; I have bent to the whims of roads easiest traveled.

Oh, don’t get me wrong I recycle, bicycle, and give of myself where I can. But my truck gets less than 30 to the gallon (I love my truck.) I have no cells on my house (which would make me a better steward.) I burn wood. Okay, in all truth, I would still burn wood even if I did have cells on my roof to run my all my new fangled, wasteful appliances and my hot tub. I have been known to wear synthetics, fake tans, and tons of mascara. I don’t eat honey and I indulge in Otter pops, and don’t even get me started on my lust of juicy rare steaks. Can I still be an instrument of change if I don’t walk the talk?

In my attempt to justify my existence I have to say, “Maybe in a different way, instead of an instrument of physical change, maybe I am a tool of spiritual change.” I have embraced the lessons of my road. While I may fear, I harbor no hatreds, no long term grudges (okay, right now I have one – but it will wane) against those who have treated me less than kind. Actually I thank them for the gifts they have left with me. It is for me to pass those gifts and gems of insight on as needed: A pier to my peers, a soul where they can rest; a sounding board where they can vent, a voice of reason in the onslaught of their storms of change; a respite where they can rest and recharge.

Am I some magnificent other world saint? Ha, ha, ohmigod hardly. No, just an old being…with a widening expanse of buttland (I think that is from resting on my laurels.) Do I think I’m something special? No, I just learn, listen, ask questions, and give of what I have an abundance of – me. And when it comes to changing my mind, admitting I’m wrong, giving over to the dark side I can do so without fear. Do I have an abundance of confidence and self worth? No, I am as uncertain of myself as you are of yourself, but if I can work to change my self worth and evolve then I can help others.

Life is change, and strangely I now find I’m up to the challenge.

Life is change

Monday, June 16, 2008

2008 Reedsport Chainsaw Sculpting Championships

This weekend, well, really starting Thursday, June 12th, was the Ninth Annual Chainsaw Sculpting Championships in Reedsport. The four day event is the first stop on the Echo Cup Challenge circuit. For me and Burp this is a must do event Ducky is suffereing a bad cold so didn't go with us this year, instead my mom went.

The talent comes from across the globe, this year there were several artist from England and Japan, one or two from Canada, Germany, Austraila, and of course many from the states.

This year's Championships carving theme was A Fish Tale. So the main carving pieces held some sort of a fish related theme. My favorites are the ones that weave in comical moose and

bear into the scene,

because really what is a chainsaw carving Championship without a flycasting moose, or a scuba diving bear?

Several carvers drew on real life charactures, from literature, and movies. A splendid sculture of the boy riding the water horse didn't photograph well enough to show you the detail.

A sculptor from Eureka, California captured this wonderful Neptune and a sea serpent.

I thought my mother was going to buy a bench at one point, it would look beautiful on her property. But she walked away without one. Now I am waiting to see if she will go back next year and make up for the one she didn't buy. This one has water fountains in the arm rest.

Overall Burp thought it was a good day, of course that is because it came with exceptionally good hot dogs.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Talk Thursday: All The World’s A Stage

When I was eight years old my birthday gift was a plug-in AM/FM radio. It was my best friend in the world. I loved that radio, knew every lyric to every song played on KHJ. I rock at name that tune. I hated the Beatles (well except the ballads,) but discovered when they broke up (and every station played Beatles music all weekend long) that despite my dislike of the Beatles


In other words, as a kid I ate, drank, and slept music. Music has always been in my life. I cried the day my radio died (some fifteen to twenty years later.)

Growing up, when I wasn’t with my radio, I was abusing the neighborhood. The people down the street had this really strange front slab – not a front porch, not a flowerbed, a large, rectangular slab of concrete that was my personal stage to the world (the front face as about 18 inches high.) Lucky people. I was destined for stardom. I performed faithfully, loudly, and with all the onerousness of a ten year old with vocal cords. They, I am sure, were delighted.

Did you ever have that song stuck in your head that drove you crazy? The one you found yourself thinking of at the oddest moments? Through out childhood I had a problem falling to sleep at night. I couldn’t sleep because the Cascades’ Rhythm of the Rain played in my head - over and over again. That was at night; during the day it was the Letterman’s Going Out Of My Head / Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You that dominated my vocal cords. Well of course it’s the medley version, it gives you more stage time. For at least one summer I was center stage on the Monge’s slab singing – quite robustly and rather loud – afternoons to a crowd of none (baby AnnaMarie doesn’t count she was held captive in her stroller.) Credit to the Monge’s they never threatened me, kicked me off the stage, er off their slab, and they never told my mother on me (she probably could hear for herself.) I knew I was going to be a star. Cher size; Tina size. Maybe even (dare I think it?) a Diana size star (well sheesh who knew back in those days that Tina and Cher would be bigger?)

And then I sang in the sixth grade talent show. Did I sing a Beatles tune? No. Did I sing The Age Of Aquarius? Nope, not even the medley version. No, I sang the obscure, and mostly forgotten folk song about a chicken with no bone. Yeah folks, that one- The Riddle Song. Who knows what the hell I was thinking. I suspect my mother had a hand in the song selection (I’ve conveniently blocked the memory) evidently I didn’t know how to match music to audience at the time. I did better in the seventh grade, choosing to cover Janis Ian’s At Seventeen (man she can write lyrics.) Better reception, but not stellar, it was at about that time I realized I made a much better back up singer.

My aspirations of singing in the band went down the same road as being a dance diva. I have worked horses, as a CMA, a cashier, I have been a personal trainer, I even went to beauty college – all the while kicking ass at name that tune. When my daughter was in the eighth grade, soon to be ex number two left. I was working hair at the time, picked up hours as a personal trainer at the local gym, but it wasn’t enough. Then one day a client at the salon had an offer I couldn’t resist (okay when Linda turned down the job I begged. I begged like not getting this gig was the end of tomorrow.)

I began working as a board op for the local AM radio station. Then I started doing the news. Then I started doing the morning show (I miss seeing the sunrise but that is all I miss of the morning show.) Now I sit in a little booth with a mic and all the music in the world. Thousands of people consider tuning me out daily, as I command my own invisible – but quite audible stage to the world. These days, I am much better at the song selection.

(I wish I had a picture to go with this post)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Filling The Corners

There are days when I am not as good as I should be. Not even as good as yesterday, sometimes falling all the way to less than I was last week. Where my angles don’t fit the corners of my life. Where I am at odds with this person inside my skin, living my life, holding true to my ideals. Try as I might I can’t step outside of me to look at it from another angle; look at it from your angle, my husband’s angle, my daughter’s, mom’s or even Arlo’s perspective, so I have to ask, “What in the hell happened to me today? I was standing there fine yesterday and today it’s a train wreck.”

Suddenly I wonder if maybe I shouldn’t have my mental health numbers checked.

I have the love of a good man, the respect of my mother, my daughter, but I am sure my dog questions my intentions. I have ideals, but do I have the balls to back up the tenets of my life? The dogmas that make up me, can I stand on them without fear that someone will question why I am – me? It galls me that I even have to justify my whys and wherefores, and feel intense fear that I will find myself lacking. I am thrilled that I rise to new challenges. To embrace new thoughts, chew them up, spit them out, and regurgitate the cud to paste in to my nook on the right. Only to find that others can’t accept that minute change in my thoughts.

Menopause can make you crazy.

Standing on pins and needles I wait. Wait for the moment I will fit into the angles, fill the expectations of others, and exceed my own limits. Where my skin will feel totally right – without benefit of enhancements. That single moment in time where my hips won’t be too big, my brain too little, my mouth too loud, and my manner to ostentatious.

The moment where being me is hip.

That moment where I won’t worry about what others will say, or wonder even if they care enough to have something to say…about what I write, believe, say, embrace, and accept. When I will fall down and they will applaud because I didn’t quit trying the new and unusual. Where I stepped out of the box, even if it was to only slide on a banana peel. Where my laughter is infectious enough to over come the inanition of polite society, causing everyone to step back and rethink and believe the odds can be over come.

Someday I want to grow up, but do I want to be a grown up? I don’t know. Because some days it still feels like the school playground.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Talk Thursday – In My Room – Or oh my Gawd I can’t believe I wrote this – WARNING ELICIT CONTENT.

I am totally stepping out of my comfort level here.

He entered my room knowing he would get what he wanted, seduction his tool, sex the end game. Flickering candles on the nightstands and bureau created just the right ambiance in the moment. My chemise was a delicate crepe with lace riding just above my nipples, peaked under the textured cloth. His cool cotton with a nubby grain. My finger tips lead my palms up his chest stopping for a moment at the vee of his shirt. Snap. Gliding through the second. Snap. Soon followed by the third, then fourth - Snap. Snap. The shirt fell to the floor in a heap, soon joined by his levis, socks, and finally his briefs.

Our discussion devolved into murmurs and sighs punctuating caresses, kisses, and nibbles as hands and fingers roamed, discovered, and explored. My fingers running up his back began kneading knotted muscles. Rolling him flat on his belly I worked my fingers along his spinal erectors. Lotion warmed under my fingers as they worked along his back and hips, then down lower along his cheeks and thighs. Breath warmed the lotion more as I held him captive by my attentions. My lips soon were followed by lingua gently touching, searching, seeking between his thighs. My teeth nibbled delicate bites along his gluts, eliciting moans that satisfied my soul and Intent. Fingertips teased his thighs while never giving absolution to his want.

With intent and command I rolled him on to his back, straddling his chest with my thighs, and kissed him deeply. My glossa explored his mouth, sucking his, my teeth tugging his lower lip, my eyes holding his with taunt desire. Running the tip of my tongue down his chin it trailed along his breast bone gently moving to the west to suck his nipple into my mouth, teeth gently grazing edges working it into a harden peak. His belly was warm under my cheek, taunt in anticipation of my movement, hoping, wanting, needing commitment of my actions.

Instead my tongue and teeth moved further south, working the length of his thighs, working the sensitive skin at the bottom of his cheeks with my teeth then soothing them with long, soft licks. Candlelight warmed the silhouette of my breast and nipples running across his skin while tongue and lips moved higher licking, nibbling, kissing, and caressing – sucking in, easing him back out of my mouth. My fingers gliding, gripped as my breath heated the lotion under my fingers and lips. Slowly rising I moved along his hips enveloping his length, thrusting down to move him inside me, hard, hot, filling. I move up again, then down. Sitting straight up my fingers run to his nipples, followed by my tongue and teeth as I bend to tease his east.

I rise up again freeing him for my mouth and teeth that move teasingly around, licking and sucking him in, he moans. My lips capture his left sack and suck it into my mouth before moving on to the right. My tongue again runs the shaft before I rise up to settle down once again, thrusting him deep with a strong rapid movement that catches him and his breathe by surprise. A series of seductive, compelling movements that hold him willing captive to my demand and his growing need.

His body and swift intakes of breathe let me know the moment of his release is near. I take him to the edge one last time, then hold off the promised end game. I pause, then lick, tease, then kiss, caress, and taunt with lips, teeth, hands, breathe, gleaning our juices from him before once again moving into position to thrust down deep on to him, taking his whole length into me in a satisfying frenzied of movement and sensation that peaks in an electric moment of satisfied lust, love, and emotion.

And our tired smiles.

Oh god tell me that wasn’t too bodice ripper, please.