n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Saturday, October 11, 2008

living la vida local

jk picsA Friend: "So, you asking me that question is basically like a one-armed lady going up to a limbless person and asking for advice on..."

Me (interrupting): "...how to climb creatively."

Same Friend: "Your compliments are like receiving an Easter basket and scraping through the contents only to realize it's all green plastic grass."

And so it goes, and so it goes. It is fall, you know? It is fall. I can't believe it; I tried to deny it for some time, but it's true, this summer was a greased loogie, shot out a nostril and onto the dinner table in two seconds flat.

I probably only got to swim outside about five or six times, and usually I'm out there about every other day. It just never got warm enough. The last several times I went swimming, I gasped when the water came anywhere near me, it was so darn cold. Sigh. Swimmy swimmy need swimming non-Clorine'd.

I should've known it was fall when my birthday came and went, or I should've known it was fall when my Grandparents migrated south, but perhaps I should've known it was fall when the leaves started to turn and the tomato plants caught blight. Breaking out the hats, tucking away the shorts, thinking about Halloween, the pumpkins and gourds at the local fruit stand, putting my snorkeling gear into storage, the first wood fire in my mother's house, Herald getting some thicker curls, all the plums gone from the tree, all the apples nearly gone, and that smell. Or perhaps my recent activities should've tipped me off, but really I think it was the light rim of frost last night as I paced around talking to my friend over the phone: it's Autumn, true.


jk picsEeeyaaaaaeah, so things have been going pretty nicely. Now that I'm reconciled to having had the briefest summer ever, and a cold Fall setting it, I'm feeling rather fond of its crisp scent, that little edge it puts on everthing. Autumn feels like a brisk schedule, a full sheet of paper. It makes me feel purposeful even if I'm not. But perhaps I am.

I had an interview this Thursday - it was a relief simply to have one, so much so that I almost forgive the interview for being what it was. Which was something of a wash. Or maybe that's a little too vague, and it was far more informative than vague.

It was a Group Interview.

jk picsWhich meant that there was little ol' me, three bosses, two employees, and... five others being interviewed simultaneously. We went around in a circle, duck duck goose. I was the goose rather frequently, but the inherent nature of the game allowed us all the opportunity to honk about awkwardly.

On the negative side: the dynamic was horrible; nobody settled out of their nervousness at any point, and if anything, it got more unbearable as time went on, and when I said stupid, stupid things, I wasn't able - as I usually am - to catch myself, go back, and explain better, because time was so pressing and twenty thousand eyes were looking at me. I think I managed to: make fun of bosses, misuse the word 'defer', avoid saying anything about my actual experience, and fail to make eye contact with the person I'd be working directly under.

Back to the positive side of things, I learned what big BS-ers the vast majority of people are. I had to stop myself from snorting out loud at least twice - once when someone listed and described "their perfectionism" as being one of the greatest challenges they'd have to deal with on this job (I think I read that answer somewhere), and the second time when someone said he dealt with the stresses of multi-tasking by "ignoring everyone." Then I got to watch perfectly skilled and experienced people melt down in front of my very eyes; one guy who seemed pretty awesomely qualified, and old enough to command a little age-respect, quivered whenever he spoke, and was extremely mousy. And I also got to hear the difference between "good on paper" and "psychotic in person" when one lady described the recent empathy-training classes she had been taking, and how it changed her life because all of a sudden she could relate to people. Heh-heh.

Actually, it was pretty neat seeing who I am potentially up against in any applicant pool for a job that pays almost nothing. They were all more experienced in the field than I am, but my impression was that I'm a bit cleverer and socially able. Pat on back, sigh.

jk picsBut back to the real world, after a night of bad interview dreams, things are still going okay here. I seem to be busy most of the time, am still enjoying tutoring, and am being pretty diligent about working out every day to take off some of the many stress-pounds that I've gained. I have a plan for most days, and will be starting on a short-term landscaping project with a friend who kicked some work my way.

In between it all, I had time to take Herald to the vet to be snipped, and also the beach to suck up for my treachery. He charmed everyone at the vet's office; they all rushed out to say goodbye to him, and so I also pat myself on the back for that one, as I have trained him to be extremely, extremely cuddly when he's waking up from a nap or nighttime or drugged stupor. He is actually really friggin' adorable. Good thing or I'd have to take him back.

I went on an art walk last night, all by my lonesome, and enjoyed it despite feeling a little lonesome. I hinted around to my dad that he might join me, but he had to attend another literary event (with someone I introduced him to four years ago) that he didn't invite me to join. Hmph. I was supposed to meet up with a buddy, but she had life run amuck on her, so that didn't happen either. But I'm getting a bit better at doing things alone again, after getting used to always having a friend to meet up with in Chicago. This has been a weird adjustment (back), but I also realize that it potentially encourages me to talk more with the people I meet out there, and less to the person I already know and am hanging out with.

I wasn't a big fan of most of the artwork on the walk; too frequently I saw either 1) traditional landscapes with lightening, 2) replicas of Picasso, Miro, or O'Keefe, or 3) artwork that was interesting in either concept or material, but not both. However, I did like some knitted works I saw (perhaps a NW strength?), some of the youth art & books at a skateboard store, and the collage-photo-etching prints of a Native American artist (I bought a poster from him).


Anyhow, more about the local life and my When You Know You Are in Bville, WA During Fall list:

jk picsI went cider-pressing last weekend. Actually, I very clearly weaseled my mother's business partner into throwing a cider-pressing party. Success!

jk picsPast cider pressings I've been to have been a little more wild and intoxicant-driven, not to mention helped along by hydraulic apple chompers to make the mash for the press. This one involved more cutting and slicing of the apples, which was more tiring than one would think.

Towards the middle of the afternoon, the buddy I went pressing with last time whom I had invited to this one, showed up... making me cheer... then backed his truck up into the driveway. What you see over to your right is what he had in the back of his pickup. I thought I was going to need a few defibrillators to jumpstart the hosts' beaters and get their jawbones back into socket.

I just about laughed my head off. Rest assured, we didn't even make a dent, although he garnered 10 gallons of cider, some of which is supposed to find its way towards his wine-making brother who makes fabulous wonderful fruit wines of all kinds. I hinted strongly (actually, there was no hinting) that I would like a bottle. I also made off like a bandit, and now have frozen cider... waiting, ah waiting for the annual pumpkin-carving party.


jk picsThe brolaw fern yeti took me mushroom hunting... Well, actually, Chanterelle hunting. Since he is off to Scotland in a month or so, my finagling finally paid off and he showed me his super-D-dooper ala Peter D Trooper sneaky, super-sneaky, private off limits, secret secret mushroom hunting spots. Now I am the guardian of future fall mushroom hunts, and I'm pretty sure I know which ones to look for.

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!!!NO!!! Do you see the crazy colors on these pupplies? Yes, the do look like your prototypical Safeway safe mushroom, either that or an acorn lid atop a finger, but they are not safe! They invert the natural color scheme. If you eat them, you will never liken McCain to the abstracted allegory of Moby Dick again. You just won't get it. !!!NO!!!

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!!!BAD!!! These will make your lips turn neon. Not just super-blue or red, but actually neon. Your lips will glow, and we'd have to tuck you behind a diner window. You don't want that, do you? Then don't eat these things that I don't know the names of or really know anything about. !!!WRONG!!!

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!!!YOU LOSE!!! This is not a mushroom, silly. This is a lichen, which is not the same thing. At least I think it's a lichen. It doesn't look like a mushroom, does it? Anyhow: !!!YOU LOSE!!!

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!!!SUCKS TO BE YOU!!! Man, if I need to tell you about this one, then you've got a problem. Seriously, this thing just looks like what the South American head-shrinkers would have pulled out of a recently opened skull, post-shrinking. And that's what it does. It makes your brain the same general size, heft and texture as your average Dubya. !!!SUCKS BAD TO BE YOU!!!

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!!!HA-HA. DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH!!! Dizzy yet? Just look at it a bit longer. Still not dizzy? Then go ahead and eat it; you'll see what I mean. Again, lichen I think, not mushroom. !!!HA-HA!!!

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!!!ERRRRRRRHT!!! This one almost had me convinced. I think it was the smoking red-black fuzzy caterpillar I saw on top of it. But after the brief conversation forthcoming from that puffed up junkie, I think I'd say: !!!ERRRRRRRRRHT!!!

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!!!SO WRONG, SO WRONG!!! If you have to climb a tree in WA to get to upside-down mushroom like thing, you're probably on the wrong path. Probably you're climbing after some fungus or lichen, or what we fondly like to call Bear's Bread. You see what I'm talking about though? It looks tempting. !!!WRONG!!!

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Viola! La Illusive PacNW Chantrelle -- more common than a sweet, good-looking lesbo, but less common than a Jesus Says sign.


And last but not least on the How You Know You're Living in WA During Fall list:
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You might say, um, what is that? And I say: that is a rough, rough replication of my car dashboard on the morning after I left my car door open as an genial invitation for my new furry driving friend to make his happy exodus.

jk picsYou see, I was driving down to the vet clinic the other day with Herald (to get him snipped) and was on the freeway when out of the corner of my eye I saw a mouse race across the passenger-seat foot area. I just about swerved off the freeway, but regained my equilibrium quickly when I remembered that I'm not a 1950's housewife with a stool. But between this and that, worrying about the puppy mainly, I forgot about the mouse until two days later, when again, I was driving and a mouse ran across the passenger-seat foot area, this time pausing to look me in the eye - deep, deep into my soul - and smirk.

At this point I decided to come up with a method of removing the mouse from my car as soon as I was at a stopping point.

jk picsThus CR's suggestion that I leave the car door open one night so the mouse might be able to leave instead of crawling into my car wiring, dying, and then rotting.

jk picsBut after looking at my dashboard the next morning, finding empty bottles of tequila, shit, seed kernals, and mirrors with angel dust tracings, I feel secure in saying that my car mouse must've misunderstood his invitation to leave as an invitation to have a party.

I threw his nest out the door and raked it apart with my tennis shoes. At least he might've invited me.

Also, as a side message to all my friends, without whom I am a miserable wasted useless and senseless hulk of an old maid: I make good nesting material. I may not be the partner in your nest, but I'd sure love to be one of the twigs. Include me, call me, ask me to babysit...


jk picsIn case you're wondering, Herald is still the most wonderful, sweet adorable perfect puppy with curls. He's huge (about 53lbs at 4.5 months old) and is starting school this Wednesday. Both of us are excited. He's been sharpening crayons all week long, and I've been putting my hair up in curlers.

Peace. Go Obama/Biden, Ballyhoo Connecticut Supreme Court, Alleyoop Economy, Hephephep World Community, ZippyZap Alternative Technologies, and Hwacka Vision and Faith, Dedication, Intelligence and Dreams...

"I think I'm going to start cutting back on the blog."


Good one.
you evil one, you're evil. i just said, "less frequently." I never said what size.
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