Thursday, September 30, 2010

Talk Thursday: Progressions - Brought to you by the letter I

My life is a chain of events, some related, others dangle at varying angles from my experiences like the skin tags of life. Progression seems natural, frustrating, rewarding and fact. An existence made from the progressions of places; progressions of people; progressions of growth; the progression of life. They are the progressions of who I have been, am, and will become and even someday not.

This evening I stopped to read three or four progressions before continuing my own (I’d written the first few lines), because regardless that I had named the topic - I’d no idea of where I was going to go – the word had just popped in my head. But then as I chewed on the content and meaning of that one word, the enormity of what it means to me… well grew to resemble the purple fizzy I’d popped into my mouth on the girl scout camp bus once and either threatened to choke me or embarrass me in a violent purple tide of spewed foam. A progression, I’ll never do that again – and grape Fizzies, ugh. If you’ve read my blog for an amount of time you know I have a few mottos that include (not necessarily in this order… tomorrow)

1) It’s all about the journey
2) Where I’ve been is who I am
3) Appreciate, Validate, and Communicate
4) Changes daily (deep and metaphoric, and totally random in the wind)

Despite the differences in voice, I was struck by the similarities in progressions. We have good days, bad days, and choices that lead to the experiences that shape each one of us. My mother often says that my siblings and I have the same molding experiences of childhood, the memories that only we share; in truth we each see things so vastly different. We remember experiences and conversations differently, despite the fact we share them. I have a vivid memory (that has failed me on more than one occasion), but I am struck by the fact that others saw and event all so differently. Oft times that angers me, because of a petty bitterness held within by another over a perceived fault or wrong where none was intended nor offered. And then I realize it is progressions.

Don’t get me wrong, I am neither grand nor noble, I am baffled. Plus, I do not house the ability to hold a grudge – really, can’t do it (I can hold on to pain and hurt, but not a grudge.) To embrace the negative seems small to me. To hold on to a wrong or slight is futile and self-destructive. To harbor anger and abhorrence is mean spirited and/or ignorant (I fear being either.) And to not give of myself is just not right. I need give and take, a balance sheet of growth. I need to learn and alter' to bend and change with time. I need to learn to chalk up each experience good and (even more so) bad as a learning experience and get over it. Thank the universe and move on to the next question. I need the progressions of my life to take me into the next. Quit rolling your eyes – I believe in reincarnation and God, too – get over it.

We are on this plane to learn, growth, evolve, and leave. The tools and marks of the progression of time, tides, sands, winds, rains, mountains, and mankind leaving their marks on this earth, on eternity, on each being here whether acknowledge or snubbed; the progressions of me.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we got a celestial report card every few years? Find a vehicle or bill board somewhere that says? “Am I doing alright? Suck? Need help?” Call 1-800-ratealife and give us your score.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Talk Thursday: Equinox

Equinox: a day of even daylight and darkness, the beginning of good sleeping weather. I adore the long darkness of autumn and winter, the fires that warm my home when old man Winter blows with his winds most fierce and a bone chilling cold. But those days are still weeks away, now is the time of the final preparations before hibernation.

Equinox: the end of the warmer summer months (c’mon, I live on the Oregon Coast we’re lucky if we get three days in summer that hit into the nineties.) Rain has been falling off and on for several weeks now, since mid August, leaving us who had looked towards the wonder of September scratching our heads longing for what was not – four weeks of amazing weather as we listened to prep football games and tailgated during the college gridiron start. Salmon are running in the Siuslaw, anglers watch from the rocks the returning numbers jump against the current as they race to their ancient homes to spawn and die.
Look inside the circle... fish splash... my camera's not fast enough for the fish.

Equinox: the beginning of a season of cold. My flowerbeds are falling asleep; the weeds seemingly have awoken for one last hurrah, soon my tulips will be in the ground, my hand rakes and trowels put away until late March.

Equniox: The demarcation into the last quarter that will herald the end of 2010. Crap, Christmas is almost here.

Obviously I had no idea where I was going… except to bed.


Friday, September 24, 2010


It has been a long time coming, but I’m ready for my next tattoo. Although I have to say, “Darm-it, that hurt!” And no, it wasn’t my first tattoo, but this one was more painful. Would I do it again? You better believe it. I promised Psam, oh a year or two ago, that I would get her a tattoo for her 18th birthday. But the truth was, I couldn’t afford it… oh a year or two ago. So now I could. After seeing my sister-in-law Roxinista’s foot tattoo she and her step-daughter both got in February I had to have one. Psam, Miseray and I were suppose to go to Area 51, but the shop was closed on Monday (Miseray’s day off) and she couldn’t get today off, so it was Psam and I.

Psam had connected with Rustoleum by email to get a working understanding of her idea, a trinity knot inside an orbis. I waited until yesterday to finally get my email from Big-T saying he couldn’t really see the detail in the shot above, so he’d drawn up a few designs. I loved the lily (I suppose you knew that.) I knew being on my foot it would hurt, but ohmybloodyhell, he said I took it well.

Big-T has been tattooing for two years, Restoleum the same – both were welding partners before Rusty took up tattooing, on Thursday he tattoo’d the Brit (Miseray's significant other.) As both Psam and I sat in our respective booths we were told about this great Celtic knot that Rusty had done the day before, Psam and I both knew the Brit had been in and the were very pleasantly surprised to find out the Brit was a relation. You know the family that tattoos together and all that.

Psam will need to go back to have the flames added to the outside of her knot and orbis,

I choose a tiger lily in coloration. I still owe Miseray the first hour of her tattoo to come, so I may go with her and get a stargazer lily on my other foot or ankle.

Kudos to Big-T and Rustoleum of Springfield’s Area 51 Tattoos, I’m in seventh heaven, and Psam’s still giggling in joy.


BTW Sid, Rustoleum had the most beautiful Green Man Tattoo for you

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blessings - Happy Birthday Pinecone

The moments in my life that have over taken me with gratitude are actually numerous. I’m blessed with amazing parents who gave me an amazing start in life full of bruised knees, bad choices, stern lectures, forgiving kisses, love hugs out of nowhere, opportunities, love, encouragement, love, and have I mentioned uncomplicated love? In my life I have been loved, hmmm by at least two men, and a third husband who has accepted me for all my flaws and faults, salty mouth, and consuming heart. He takes the best, embraces the worst, and gives me his all. He shares with me life’s up, and life’s downs. I have a beautiful daughter has stuck with me through thick and thin, shared laughter, learning, joys, and tears and still counts me among her best friends. Then the cherry on the whole thing, she gave me a one of a kind, out of the blue, incredible grandson. I am blessed, amazingly blessed.

There are those reoccurring moments of clarity when I see how truly beautiful and amazing my little sister is. She is incredibly kind and loving; sharing and giving; gracious and supporting; she is wise and learned.
I am blessed. When I have a family problem I go to her. When husbands have walked out she listened and supported and then went out on the town with me. Then she found me a husband that is right as rain.

Pinecone’s life has been very different than mine, while I’ve been married three times, she found a man who has stuck with her through thick and thin. While I had one healthy, durable child; her two beautiful sons suffered devastating medical dilemmas at extremely young ages. To the world she showed a back bone and constitution of steel while inside I know she had to be crumbling. I think the only time I saw her cry was when she handed two-pound Arnie to me with his gangling arms and legs flailing beyond the palm of my hand at two months old – she had finally been able to bring him home. At the same time her first son was battling the effects of spinal meningitis at age one. Both are healthy, durable and well adjusted young men because of Pinecone and the Cap and Crown Guy.

If you had to pick a sister to walk through life with, Pinecone would be the perfect fit. She is young at heart, funny, sexy, football craving, hard working, nurturing, singing, practical, silly, and loud. Since she was a baby she has been cute, adorable, fun, awkward, boyish, ladylike, and up to a challenge.

Happy Birthday Pinecone, my dear friend, my sister.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Staycation Part 1

"Some” people have a problem with “staycations” not me. Ducky and I take a staycation every two or three years. Yes, we realize it’s not the same as vacation, but it gives us the time to do things that don’t get done on those short two day weekends and please remember I’m in radio, there in no such thing as a three day weekend. Nada.

Saturday began with Oregon’s blowout over Portland State, which had followed last weekend’s blowout of Tennessee, preceding a tremendous football season kick off with a blowout over New Mexico. I do not enjoy blowouts; I can’t believe that any school would pay to have their players slaughtered on the gridiron. I mean really, is the money that worth it? I remember when the Ducks were the blowoutees and not the blowouters – it wasn’t fun, I hated people putting down my Ducks and those were just the fans. So Saturday afternoon when the September rains were giving Ducky something to bitch about (my lawn is now green and I apparently don’t water enough during the summer despite what the water bills says) Burp, Ducky, and I tailgated in the living room and watched a blowout.

Since Ducky and I have been together he’s said he use to fish, misses fishing, wants to fish again. So for our anniversary I did what any well attending spouse does, listen to eighteen years of wishing and made it so. I bought him a fishing pole, tackle box filled with an assortment of hooks, sinkers, spinners, sesame honey bars, pliers, and the three hottest lures on the Siuslaw. I also got him a reel and 20 pound test (yes, I realize my mistake… now.) There they sat, I asked if he’d wound the test on the reel, and it sat. Finally I did it myself, promised some weekend fishing with Burp and last Sunday morning, off we went.

It had finally stopped raining as we drove to Munsel Lake, the location sucked. We drove further north (a whole three miles from home) to Sutton lake and walked down to the dock. After setting up Burp’s pole we watched him sadly cast his line three feet from the dock. Ducky demonstrated a cast or two, talked Burp through it and we watched as each cast improved. Then I asked if I could try. I think I’m hooked. Then the rain began, kind of light Burp kept casting. A little more rain, Ducky would cast. I think I’m hooked. Ducky wants to fish the Siuslaw, Salmon are beginning to run.

Last night we went to the final concert of the season at the Cuthbert. I had scored tickets through work, because it’s on a Tuesday night and I don’t take days off from work for anything…okay I did for cancer, but I mean the other crap, I took a staycation. We met Pinecone and the Tooth and Cap guy at the concert, my friend Sue was a few blankets down and the night rocked. The sky was cloudy but rain held off as night fell Heart took the stage and it was magic. Short, but all the same magic. I’d show you a picture, but it is locked in side my phone, darn I don’t have texting ergo I can’t send my pictures to myself. Bummer dude.

Today it was cutting brush at my moms… tomorrow breakfast.

The staycation continues…


Friday, September 17, 2010

The Politics of Religious Zealots

The office I work in has an array of religious beliefs and backgrounds. Yes, it is one of those weird offices where we talk religion, politics and gossip like crazy. We usually tend to respect each other’s beliefs and practices – well except when Yankee fanatic changed from Assembly of God to Seventh Day Adventist. Now don’t get me wrong I respect the Seventh Day faith – I dislike that it creates a Saturday workload for others of us. But other than that Yankee is very knowledgeable about all things Biblical – he is only a small bit zealous in his faith.

In our midst we have said Seventh Day Yankee, a reformed Baptist, an agnostic, a Jehovah Witness, and me the sliding Quaker. We have some very interesting conversations and when in life I hear a philosophy that baffles, confuses, or confronts me and I’m on ignorant ground or worse at a loss I bring my questions to work and get a forum of views, interpretations, and beliefs. It gives me food for thought and different views. All’s good.

I try very hard to not be judgmental, but of late I’ve noticed I’m losing the battle. I believe this started with editing Natalie’s books, I’ve learned so much about the history and abuses of the Mormon Church. But it’s not just Mormons. There are all the zealots in the world who believe their religion is the only religion. Bunk. Religion in theory is good, to follow the tenants of religion and faith is good, but man uses religion to rule, abuse, deride, divide and abuse. Religion should be good, cleansing, enlightening; man has made it oppressive and hateful. The majority of deity believing men (read mankind) believe in the same god, but the rules by which they believe is as dividing as color, gender, and sexuality based hatreds. The Seventh Day Yankee once called the JW brainwashed. Now there in truth is argument against both of them, but again it’s not being able to accept another’s beliefs and appreciate their dedication. Oh, and Seventh Day Yankee did apologize.

Of late the JW’s must be deep in their “It’s the end of days” seminars because that’s what I’ve heard a lot lately. Since the day I replied, “You think this is bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet” I just listen and don’t say much. Except the other day she made a comment about her son being in a mixed relationship and she hopes it doesn’t last. Wow, considering some of the turmoil in her extended family you would think she’d embrace her son’s girl (whom she likes) who likes her. But no she’s concerned there could be a mixed marriage. She likes this girl, but because she’s just a Christian and not a JW this can’t be. So I asked her, “You’d rather him be alone for all of his life, than fall in love with someone not in his religion?” That is exactly what she would prefer – I was dumb struck, no really I was. And worse she provided me with the best comeback possible, but I didn’t think of it for at least an hour. She married a non practicing Lutheran and that worked out just fine.

The Seventh Day Yankee is part of a group who is bringing Messiah’s Mansion to Florence. Messiah’s Mansion is a replica of the Mosaic Arc of the Covenant (carried through the mid-eastern desert by the Israelites) built by Biblical standards as mentioned in the Old Testament. Everything within the walls of the display are placed with specific purpose as used by the rabbis of the day. While this isn’t something that interests me, I can see where it would many people of varying faiths and beliefs. Some will find it spiritual, others will find it historical (I would find it boring) but apparent JW has a big problem with it religiously (one I’ve not been privileged, lucky me.) It’s raining in Florence, surprise, so of course they are now looking for some additional cover for certain areas in the park where they will greet people. I suggested to Seventh Day Yankee that he ask JW if they could borrow her canopy. He kind of seemed hesitant but took my advice.

I’m sorry, truly I am that I suggested it because this is what I heard.

SD Yankee: “You have a canopy don’t you? Would it be possible to use it down at the park so they don’t get wet at Messiah’s Mansion?”

JW: “If it wasn’t for a religious purpose you could, but I don’t want anyone thinking I support the display.”

Surely my jaw was gaping to the floor. I’ve yet to figure out what would be offensive to a Christian about the display, non-Christian it’s possible. I apologized to Seventh Day Yankee. But I’m still confused, baffled, and becoming more judgmental. I don’t like that.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Talk Thursday: It’s Not Rocket Science

Coincidentally, I’ve addressed this topic before (March 2006) and this is the third blog I’ve started (and hopefully will finish) this week. The last time I was blogging about my water heater and the little white button that controls one huge pleasure and necessity in my life – hot water. Some people need a cup of coffee to start their morning… well I do too, but not until I’ve had my fifteen minutes of hot water… steaming hot water, not luke warm, not tepid, but hot, decadent, steamy water (no wonder I fight mildew in my bathroom.)

So back in March of ought six I bought a new thermostat and an element. Ducky drained the water and “fixed” the problem. And four and a half years later I am still walking into the garage to push the white button (that he swears you can’t push – “No, it’s the red button.” He’s fucking color blind.) Why? Six months ago he told me he only changed the element.

It’s not friggin’ rocket science, it’s a hot water heater, dude.

Men, can’t live with them and you just can’t shoot them.

I’m not brilliantly intelligent, but I’m no dummy either, I adore trivia. Adore it. As does Psam, she to the extent that in her senior year she memorized all the Q&A’s from two (I believe) different editions of Trivial Pursuit. My own trivial pursuits come from an interest to know what I don’t. This I am sure is compounded by my mother’s voice in my head saying, “Look it up” which I bless her for –

"Mom,I can’t spell extricate."
“Look it up.”
"Mom, what is astrodynamics?"
“Look it up.” Okay I never asked that one, but you get the drift and that would be rocket science.

But the point, is if I don’t know something I look it up. That is only half the problem (my needing to know drives my husband in—sane), the other half is my freaky memory. Music is the easiest for me and of course things from my childhood. But the true problem lies in the way I think and answers why I can spend an hour in the dictionary, two hours in an encyclopedia, half the day in an almanac, and an eternity on Google. One thing leads to another, the logic is neither linear nor sting.

Each evening before my shift Harley and I do a trivia block to close out his. Monday through Thursday he ask the question, Friday I get to ask. Here lies the demonstration of the bleach blonde mind in action –

Me – (in a sing song voice) Helloooo Harley, hello – hello – hello.

Harley – Hello, Calista, ready for a little trivia – I think we can stump you tonight (he says this every night - except Fridays.)

Me – sure Harley, let’s go.

Harley – Okay, first question: Where lies the origin of the pineapple? Hint – (and he points toward the floor – which I point out to the audience, because hey, it’s radio.)

Me – Well I am assuming because you’re pointing to the ground it’s not Hawaii. I can’t believe it would be California and it’s certainly not Oregon, so Mexico? Where?

Harley – No Calista, it’s not Mexico.

Me – well you were pointing to the ground, so China?

Harley – No, Calista, South America.

Me – Well then, shouldn’t you have been pointing south instead of pointing to the ground? I mean really you were pointing to China. (although I still wouldn’t have known.)

Harley – Yes, south would have been a better choice, now that you point it out.

Me – So if pineapples come originally from South America, what did the Chinese do for sweet and sour sauce before the introduction of pineapple into their diet?

I believe I baffled him.

Harley – Where was the first, temporary, capitol of the United States?

Me – Did you know there were actually 16 presidents before Washington?

Harley – Calista, I’m asking the questions here. Don’t know the answer?

Me – New York City.

Harley – Yep. Okay, next question: General George Custer was best known for what?

Me – Well Harley, he’d been demoted and died at little Big Horn as a Colonel, but most people don’t realize it. That’s what a stubborn, willful temperament will get you.

Harley – Demoted?

Me – no, scalped, he’d been warned not to go. If your scouts had told you not to go because they were walking into a trap would you have gone? Willful I tell you.

Harley – I’m asking the questions here. Next question Calista, what is the string on the animal...

Me – I know this, I know this, woo hooo I know this - for hanging on the Christmas tree.

Harley – Calista, you didn’t even let me finish the question.

Me – I’m sorry, Harley, ask away.

Harley – Here’s your next question, what vegetable would Bush not eat.

Me – See I let you finish the question

Harley – yes, you did, thank you Calista - but do you know the answer.

Me – I believe what he said was, “I’m the President and I don’t have to eat broccoli.” Which, I believe annoyed broccoli farmers and mothers everywhere, because really who wants their son telling them “The President said he doesn’t have to eat his broccoli and I don’t’ either!” What next, Brussells Sprouts? You eat your Broccoli don’t you Harley?

Harley – yes with melted cheese on it.

Me – well there you go kids, eat your broccoli and you to can have a long storied career in radio.

Harley (shaking his head and trying not to look dumbfounded) – good night Calista.

Come on, I love Cash Cab and Jeopardy – so get real. Oh, but my favorite tv show is Big Bang Theory, now that is physics and rocket science.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Bitch

I was in chat with a man last night who said the President was cheating America. Despite the fact that we never talk politics in my chatroom and I was a bit offended, but I kept my mouth shut. Why?
1) it wasn’t the place
2) if I went off on his ass he’d never recover and that would be the end of our “friendship.”
Ooh, okay so there’s an up side to it, I might reconsider.

Last week my “friend” said he went on Social Security when he did so the government didn’t cheat him out of $33 thousand dollars. WTF? He’s been retired now for over ten years, I would estimate in that ten years he’s received over $132,000 dollars. When in the heck did he ever put $132,000 into SSI? At one time he saved for his retirement, I mean heck, this was a union man who worked for an international company that builds nuclear power plants. I’m sure he made pretty good money, had a nice retirement plan… and spent it on a piano for his wife. No, he doesn’t still have the piano nor the wife (she died, who knows about the piano) and he’s worried the government is ripping him off.

I’m not upset this man gets SSI, it’s what our government has been doing since 1940 (three years after being signed into law by Roosevelt.) What I resent is his outlook, it’s owed to him and he’s going to get every penny from that thieving government. It’s his poor is me entitlement – idiot you’re the one who didn’t save for a rainy day. I don’t expect SSI to be around when I retire, that is why I bought a house, that is why I save money and that is why I have a retirement account. I need to depend on me. My mother continually beat that lesson into our heads as we were growing up, “Social Security will go bankrupt and possibly not be around when you get that old, take care of yourself now.” (paraphrased but you get the idea.) I don’t have a big house, I don’t have a big savings, but my retirement account is growing and if I have to buy a small trailer and live in it darmit I will – but I doubt it will come to that.

At least once a week he sends me an email with a prayer chain letter. Drives me friggin’ crazy. I’m fairly certain that God has more important things to do than read regurgitated, stale chain prayers – that have been forwarded ad nauseam with the cascading rows of
Really if you believe in the power of a chain prayer to God wouldn’t you at least be conscientious enough through your faith to want to make the presentation as beautiful as possible and clean up the >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>?
You would think.

I’ve said this here before, I now reply to all of his ill-informed, ill-advised, mal-intended propaganda emails rebuking the President or pointing out erroneous errors of the President with a massive post to all who received his message in the first place. I love reply all – sometimes. In the past I’ve kept his name out of it, not anymore, for now on I will send out a header something like this…

Sad friend of Ignorant Midwest Poor Is Me Retiree,

I’m sorry to inform you that IMPISR has tried (likely again) to lead you astray (or assaulted your sensibilities and intelligence) with his mass forwarding of a hoax email that he believes hook, line and sinker. Because he was too lazy too check out Fact Check or Snopes on the internet (and yes I have sent him the links each and every freakin’ time) I am sending them (the links) to you so you can read and judge for yourself the severity of his trespassing (I know he understands that word because he knows the Lord’s Prayer) on your intelligence.

Please if he has not responded to your demands to cease and desist it is because he is probably down at the Indian Casino Bingo Parlour (really) spending his hard earned SSI. Later this afternoon you’ll find him picking up his food box at the church pantry.

The Frustrated Bitch in Oregon

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Talk Thursday: Sock Drawer

Ha-ha-ha! Lynblossom you’re cute, but really right now I’m so tired I could curl up in my sock drawer and go to sleep. Except my too large a butt wouldn’t fit, the bottom would fall out and I’d be sleeping with the dog. Except Arlo’s sleeping on the futon in the “new room” which isn’t so new, because we built it when Burp was a year old… maybe, and Burp just started fourth grade. Wow, time flies.

So anyway, my sock drawer is filled with underwear, I never wear, that I bought on my last trip to Frisco (Sid when was your birthday? Yeah it was that long ago.) Why are they there? Because I can’t throw them away, they’re brand-new and make me itch... and boy isn’t that graceful and lady like. There are socks that only get worn on Friday’s and weekend in the colder days (I’ve found my bare feet again and I love it.) Plus my cute and awesome Christmas socks – note the toes in the reindeer ones. And some odds and ends.
See down in the lower right corner there’s this kewl caddy that holds hair bands (yes, at 54 I still wear a pony tail); some bracelets; an 1888 silver dollar; a piece of scrimshaw (both presents) from my second wedding; two presidential dollars; a Kennedy head half dollar; and a safety pin (who knows.)

You could also find a variety of jewelry boxes (most are empty) and an assortment of important and long forgotten papers if you stir things around. Sometimes even my extra money stash is tucked in the side of this drawer (but not this month.) Note, if you want to keep your money safe, hid it in your husband/boyfriend/significant other/or situation’s drawer… burglars will go though women’s undies drawer (hmm hmmm Jen) but usually not men’s (really think about it, if you weren't folding and putting them away would you touch them? - see point taken) so wrap it up in that holey pair of brief he won’t let you throw away. The important thing is except for getting a bra out every morning, I just about never use this drawer… so see really if my butt was small enough (yeah in my dreams) I could sleep undisturbed in my sock drawer.

Cele – nite nite

Friday, September 03, 2010

Talk Thursday: Priority Mail

The post office is my friend; they don’t feel as warm and cozy about me. For a good reason I suppose, I pick my mail up about once every four weeks. I’ve had people look at me with utter disbelief when I make a comment about my inability to get to the post office in a timely manner. So I guess you could say, mail isn’t a priority with me.

Email and online banking work just fine, I like printing out what I need, and having complete records now. And of course I have a problem with my mail being left in a box a block a way from my house where kids and whomever can steal it on a whim. So, again, mail isn’t a priority. With online banking the bill is paid weeks before I get the bill in the mail. It drives people crazy.

What drives me crazy is the intent to mail a card, say to my grandson for his birthday. The good intent is there the week before when I remind myself to go buy him a card. And the day following when I remind myself again. I’m sure that just warms the cockles of his heart…when again he gets no card from grandma.

I got Pinecone and the Cap & Crown guy tickets to see Heart later this month at the Cuthbert. I will probably have to drive to Springfield and hand them to her, because you know me and the mail.

My god I'm lazy,