Friday, May 27, 2011

Dancing with the Meteorites

I apparently dislocated my hip by two feet
Last night at the Knitting Factory, Huck played backup for the local, randy group Pasties and Paddles.  They've also played back up for big "belly" dancers and the Roller Derby. Basically, if it's a freak show, they're in. Last night, it was an S&M exposition group which he claims reminded him of High School skits but worse. I don't know what drives one to be an S&M exhibitor in Spokane, WA.

relocating hip with playground vicegrips
Meanwhile, down on the farm, I was wondering why we can't seem to find a dance hall here.  Huck and I began our relationship with a foray into Tango. We get the giggles just remembering.  Tango is not the place to start.  I have no sense of rhythm and Huck has an intimate and exhaustive understanding of rhythm. He IS rhythm, whereas I'm just thankful my heart remembers to beat some times. And Tango being rather... sexist. And us just getting together.  The whole thing was bad.  I knew from experience and from watching other's experience that one needs to start a new relationship with boundaries and expectations in place.  It's sometimes necessary, but dangerous, to go switching these things around after a few years. You have to be yourself, firmly, from the get go.  So, I was loath to start our relationship with me being THAT submissive for hours on end every week.  And yet I have a void where kinesthetic intelligence should go.  The combo of my disobedience and lack of dancability created a mosh-pit type experience in the ball room. And when I became a pregnant bear, Huck decided to preserve his life and we just stopped.

Two kids later, we waltzed.  The first few brutal turns involved elbows and bruising.  And I turned to him and hissed, "Why the hell are you trying to beat me up?"  And he, just as mad, says, "Why would I beat you up?  And in public?"  "THAT's What I'm asking YOU."  And then we changed partners, thank god.   Eventually I learned that I was going to have to submit to my leader, and soon, my lip-licking concentration gave way to a zen-y zoned-out-ness.  I look like I've just had a lobotomy.  And in a way, I have.  In order for me to follow, I must turn off every spigot of thought in my brain and let my body respond to the jerks, squeezes, and after several years of work, the gentle nudgings of my partner.  I become a dancing blow-up doll.

But sometimes, I want to "re"gain control of my body, which is really a stupid impulse because of my total lack of ability to control my body. I had a dawning sensation once that I was no longer feeling fancy, or graceful as I'd learned dancing could make me feel.  And I said to Huck, "Darling, it feels like I'm just walking backwards. What's going on?"  "We're dancing," but his teeth were gritted.  "This doesn't feel like dancing. This feels like walking."  "You were having trouble with the rhythm so I've simplified."  "Well, it feels like BS."

I like the partner switching of dance lessons.  You get a feel for the overall personality of all the men in the room.  Control freaks and wet noodles and all spots in between.  Since I'd been to India, I always liked chatting with this one guy from there. But he was extremely short, even for an Indian.  And I happened to be his partner when we learned a dip. Yes, the tallest girl in the class and the shortest man in what turns out to be a physical impossibility.  I was feeling large and I'm sure he was feeling puny and I think we were both thinking the same thing, "HELP!"  when the male instructor finally glanced our way and screamed like a girl: "OH MY GOD!  Switch Partners!" 

 Since there's no ballroom here, we take what we can get and Huck sometimes has to ply me with wine (but not a stumbling amount) to be the first and only dancers for a band, because when you are that, you join the entertainment and people stare at you and clap at you which lets you know they are watching which isn't what I want to know.  And occasionally the band thanks us, from the microphone on the stage.  I know I am not that good and that people are watching me be not that good and sometimes thanking me for being not that good.  But with Huck's now expert handling, I do sometimes feel graceful and lovely and all that, if a little self-conscious.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Costume Party

I have a confession to make!  And boy, is my mom's heart racing now!  (Relax, mom!  You probably won't even need your support group of mom's-who's-daughters-have-blogs for this one!)

Here goes: I change my clothes 266 times a day.  And JUST like Hannah Montana, hilarious accidents happen!  But I don't usually notice until it's too late.  My first outfit is called "try-not-to-embarrass-your-son-at-the-bus-stop".  He has final veto power and will protest if what I'm wearing looks suspiciously like my rosebud-wallpaper patterned pajamas with red, Quebec slippers (because I am a pajama and slipper connoisseur and would spend my entire life in these outfits if life let me).  And why do I stand out at the bus stop with my son?  He stands in front of the front window and I can watch him from there, clearly.  But... mornings and the push to shove your children into clean clothes, clean breakfast and clean teeth before hurling them out the door can get a little stressful.  And standing at the bus stop is a nice chaser.  We chat, play games, or just huddle in silence.  It is one of my favorite parts of the day which means I will not be skimping on it and if it requires a separate change of clothes, so be it.

Then come the barn clothes, old jeans, boots, cow crap... well, you've seen that one.  So risque!

Then I have the clothes I'm going to wear to homeschool or the ones I'm going to drop Blue off in.  Experience has taught me that if I am going to go in the car, I should wear a bra (I try to keep one in the car) and non-shit-covered boots and pants, because sometimes I drop by the grocery or hardware store on the way.  And this is when it gets interesting if I've forgotten key items like: brushing my hair or teeth, the previously mentioned unmentionable, or clean clothes.  The interesting part isn't what you'd expect.  It isn't that people look at me funny, point and laugh, call the cops, the health department, or what-have-you.  The interesting part is that this is when I am most likely to be hit on.  It totally baffles me.  Why not hit on the blond with the tall hair and mini-skirt?  She sure looks ready for it.  Why me?  I tried to fix this nuisance by wearing a baseball cap low over my eyes, but that's not off-putting enough, apparently, and I just run in to things and can't find my way out of the store. This whole thing bewilders me because in addition to my clothes being dirty, I am usually filthy (not like THAT!) too.  I can't seem to figure out when to shower: before the barn chores, before gardening?  Never before bed, unless I want a week's worth of hair from hell that makes Medusa look like a cherub.  I think my hair even bit someone last time.  Stinky, grimy, wearing holey slippers or shitty rubber boots and all I can say is that I will never understand men.  It's apparently not about the shoes for them... or maybe it is.  I don't know.  I'm usually in some spaced out reverie and won't even notice what I'm wearing until someone makes a move and then I go through this sudden self-consciousness: why is this happening? Is it something I'm wearing? (because I come from the dark ages and learned that it's all about what I'm wearing: everything men think and feel and do can be rightly blamed on my clothes: war, commerce, flashing, etc) And this leads me straight to: Oh! God! What AM I WEARING!!!???? So... I try to wear something normal and clean because some men just need all the help they can get in order behave and if I can remember, by golly, I'll help them!.

Then I change back in to my dirty barn/garden clothes (if I'm not still erroneously in them), or into something comfortable but not for public consumption, like my leopard print velour leggings.  They are so cozy and comfy, but scare the crap out of me.  I saw a photo of me wearing a hot pink tank top and these pants and I  violently refuted that it was me as I would EVER wear anything so tacky!  I tried to claim it was a photo of my sister... but that was even more unlikely.  Horrified, I faced the fact that I am Peg Bundy. And yet, I find these timeless classics to be cozy and comfy and don them to do whatever it is I do all day around here when I'm trapped inside.

I did go out planting this past week in driving rain.  And my rain coat, I noticed, was very skilled at collecting the rain and dumping it on my jeans and down my boots.  And one has to ask, "Why the frack am I wearing this?"  With the wind, the cold, the rain and the May being on the calendar, I broke into hysterical laughter while wrestling with some black plastic weed barrier.  I clearly have a gardening problem if I'm willing to suffer this all and laugh in the face of weather's nastiest.

Then there's the pick-up-the-kids-clothes again, and then making-dinner-clothes which historically requires stainability as well as fire-retardation (although with the microwave, I have reduced my monthly kitchen fires by half!)  And, I almost forgot!  The soccer and track-mom clothes and another attempt to be socially acceptable.  And then we get back to the real reason for my existence: pajamas!

On my bedroom floor are five piles of current outfits, none of which get tremendously dirty, or if they do, they are never TOO dirty for what it is I need them for and that is because I do most of the laundry around here.

This is a true behind-the-scenes confession of a farm grrrl and her outfits.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dancing in Destruction

Cows and fences.  Owl and chickens.  The cycles of creation and destruction continue to cause me to go insane... break down sanity, re-create insanity.

The cows are in the field peaceably chewing cud and sitting.... Oh wait, that's not quite sitting, more like frozen in giant balls that need a few pumps for that minor deflation. They are pregnancy defined.  They look like what all women feel like at this point in the similar nine month gestation.  And they're kind of crazy too.  Not that they scream about vacuum cleaners or throw bins of dried currants across the kitchen or sit around naked in open windows during 104 degrees of un-air-conditioned heat because who the frick cares who sees. The cows too have been wearing the same clothes for a very long time... they haven't, however, dribbled yogurt down the front and smeared chip powder on the sides.

The grass was popping up green everywhere, and for some reason, in the spring, or really all year, the grass seems greener just outside the fence.  And our electric fence wasn't working, because sand is not a good soil type for completing a circuit, it turns out.  And because I have no idea about anything electric.  And because Huck's been out of town for most of the last six weeks. And what was I going to do?  Say, "Hey sweetie!  So glad of you to drop by for a few hours this week.  Don't play with the kids.  Don't do the dishes.  Don't ... ahem... take care of me.  Just go out and get this crap done!"  NO WAY.  Until... there they were, giant bowling ball cows going for the split, leaning so far over the fence, they'd smashed it down to two fully-surmountable feet tall.  And panic struck.

Luckily, Huck was home and my parents were visiting.  And between us all, we got that fence up and running.  And the furry zeppelins haven't touched it since! Except for once.

Then the owl attacked.  The good news was that Huck was home that night too and I needled him out to check on those screaming chickens.   What he saw was a pile of feathers and only three chickens cowering in the hutch and a three foot tall owl on a post a few feet away.  We were both glad there were no saucy remains to deal with and we set a spotlight on the coop.  But in the morning, that crafty little chicken, Goldilocks, was there!  She'd hidden some place far more clever than the coop and was only a little damaged.  We've gawked at that owl a few times since, just feet from our faces.  And I say to it, in my most dominion-ating voice, "Go."  And it does.  It's an uneasy peace, if that's what we can call it. 

And we went to the sweet old neighbor lady's farm auction.  70+ years of accumulated farm stuff... on auction!  And here were all these farmers,. checking out the crap of 10 out-buildings.  This is how men work, apparently.  They go hunting.  They go fishing.  They go to farm auctions.  Call it useful.  Call in necessary.  And then they sit in a travel trailer, drink beer, and watch satelite tv for three days.  No honey, I didn't kill anything this time.  Maybe next time: heeheehee.  The farm auction: men wandering around, coffee, donuts, chatting for hours with a few bids thrown in so they can call it work.  It makes we wonder if women aren't really ruining work, upping the work bar. Now men have to actually WORK at work. Three martinis and wheelbarrow full of fresh chat is not longer considered work.  No wonder so many resisted women in the "work" force.

And the auction itself!  The habeeda habeeds habbadada 15 hoppity hoppity hoppity 20! Gave me anxiety in my chest and a pounding in my head.  It think it's all part of the clouding of the brain that makes an auction so very profitable.

An auction is a nutty way to sell things you'd normally have to pay to dispose of.  Old-school Craigslist.  But not.  Because the auction preys much more cleverly on desire and competition.  Something that might have sold for $10 on Craigslist, is suddenly bid up to $85!  Twice the price of new!  Three half quarts of oil?  Really? The curiosities: threshers from the 30's and 40's.  And an oven from every decade since 1930.  All in all, a fascinating waste of a day. 

But when I didn't get that riding lawn mower, I realized that I actually wanted one.  We currently have no working mowers, unless you count the push-reel mower which was great for our city lot, but can't do a thing out here, but make me sweat and curse.  My friend's father-in-law bought a fancy new riding mower and needed to offload his old fancy riding mower.  He named his price.  And I said I'd check with Huck and our bank account to see if we could try for it.  And then he says, "Listen, I just want the thing out of my garage.  You should really negotiate with me.  I'm going to be a push-over and I suggest you take advantage of me.  I'll deliver it.  I'll fix the wheel.  You just name your price." Okay!  So that was a cheap mower and I felt kind of bad about it.... but it was his idea!  And I spent two blissful hours cruising around our property yesterday.  Oh my god, what fun!  Gave the kids rides, mowed weeds to keep the Noxious Weed Board happy for a while, and mulched through some failed projects involving manure in really stupid places (because, I thought, I'm not going to move it twice.  I'll move it to where I want it and then... let the kids play tether ball in it until it biodegrades into...not manure.)

I've got my four chickens, my three (soon to be five) cows are contained, my 3000 square foot garden has increased to 4500 thanks to a work trade with the neighbor, and I've got a powerful, snazzy riding lawn mower. And my husband's home.  I am a very happy, very dancing farm girl.


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