Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Theories on The Worst Possible Thing

Beignet is truly attached to his balls.  Those things are papery-white, shriveled, and yet still hanging in there! 
We thought they'd be gone by the time we got back from vacation, but there they are! Ghosts of their former selves, haunting Beignet, a bull-in-appearance-only now.

watching the green flash at sunset
Our vacation to Huck's ancestral lounging house at Mission Beach was so tremendously relaxing that when they changed our flight itinerary 375 times on the way home, we didn't care.  We went through Denver, Pheonix, Seattle and from there to Spokane on a 30 second Horizon flight which served complimentary wine which we were all obliged to chug before the tray tables were snapped up for landing: it was nice.  Through it all, our luggage hadn't been able to keep up and I was told to just come back the next day to see if it had made it.

While vacating, we talked of this phrase "wanting something bad enough."  It was used to inspire my middle school basket ball team. I took it at face value;  if I stood at the foul line and wanted to make a basket bad enough, I would.  And it never, ever worked.  I wanted, oh! Did I WANT!  I LONGED to make a basket, just one!  I ached.  I stood on that line and quivered with desire to make a basket only to discover that my coach was an effing liar.  It wasn't until maybe a few years ago that I realized that the "want" only works if you translate it into practicing, like, a LOT.  And so, in that case, I didn't even want to want it bad enough. I would have been honest about that, given half a reasonable explanation of how this "wanting " works.
Pacific Beach combing

I've had all sorts of explanations for how the world works reeking havoc up here in my brain for decades now.  It's been a slow process to unravel it all. I have to take a lot of breaks so I can laugh at myself.  Here is my old-as-I-am explanation for how the world/god/fate works:

I grew up hearing these testimonies... lots of testimonies... in fact I could write a book about all the messed up junk I learned from testimonies: the importance of alcoholism, abusive childhoods, drug use, DRAMA, promiscuity, etc. etc. and what a GREAT story those things make!!!  No one wants to hear the testimony of the good, obedient daughter finally realizing the error (where's the error?  is it that speck of a swearword over there?) of her ways and then repenting, tearfully, and making a dramatic change in her um...life. BORING.

So anyway, one of the things I'd hear again and again went something like this, "I didn't think I'd ever be a ___________ (Christian, pastor, wife, human, sober, teacher, mother, etc) or do _______________ (missionary work, funerals, teaching, good stuff, dishes, etc)  And I was sure I'd never _________________ (I'm drawing a blank on this one).  But God has a funny way of MAKING (key word emblazoned on my psyche) you do those things you swore you never would!"  Knowing laughter ripples through room.  Why were those grown-ups laughing?  What secret did they know?  I determined to figure it out in the absurd isolation chamber of my little child-brain.  Late at night.  Laying awake in bed.
forts at the beach house

I would imagine the "worst possible thing" (WTP).  And I developed a very special talent for this which persists to this day!  I would then try to figure out how God would MAKE me do this or that.... would MAKE me get to the place where that would finally make sense. 

WPT:  I'd HATE to be doctor!  Touching people's bodies, blood, bones, dead people dying right beneath your incompetent hands.  And here you'd been thinking for decades about how god-like you were, saving people from the clutches of death, only to have the crushing realization one day, as Suzie bleeds uncontrollably in your human hands, that you are, in fact, impotent against the forces of death, and you realize that your life has been just an empty shell of work and student loans, a futile resistance to the one force in the universe stronger than life itself.  And so you start taking your own pills, by the handfull, day after day after day, making horrifying medical mistakes but not caring because we all die.  We All Die.  Sooner or Later.  So what's a few years off your insignificant lives anyway?

Barry's mega-castle format
Next step:  Oh crap!  Now God's probably going to MAKE me be a doctor!  Well, there's really only ONE way he could do that!

Step three:  Basically, God would have to make my mother or sister or dad or brother or ALL OF THEM die from some previously unknown disease and then I'd have to devote my life to a crusade to discover, name (that's the hard part: what would I name it? VanBoveniphilitis?) and eradicate this disease.  I'd HAVE to become a doctor!  Which brings us to...

Step four:  THE ONLY WAY to save my family is to actually WANT to be a doctor before God has to smite them in his bid to force my hand.  But then they'd never know or thank me for all that debt, medical school and depression that I forced myself to endure just to save their lives.  Maybe I could just SAY I want to be a doctor and fake god out until it's too late for me to go to medical school or study science-y things.

EXAMPLE 2:

I HATE Michael Dolan ( probably a nice guy - no idea what he's up to these days and I have no idea why I didn't like him... he wasn't a jerk or anything.)!  Which brings us to WPT:  GOD now has to MAKE me marry him!! YUCK!!!  Please, God, don't make me marry HIM!!!  There's NO WAY!  I'll become an atheist!  I'll hate you to the end of time if you do that! (To this day: I wonder in what sneaky ways God could have made Huck be just like Mike Dolan! ACK!)

Pisco Sours on the Roof every night!
Step Three: God will have to destroy the earth.  Mike's the last man on it.  I'm pushing 80, so there's not much time I'd have to spend with him anyway.  AND he had a brain injury that completely changed his personality.  And his acne is gone.  Then.... maybe.

Step Four: no step four.

I guess, life did turn itself strange on me.  I didn't imagine I'd be a stay at home mom. Or be married to a blond, science-y guy.  Or spend vacations in San Diego.  Or drive a Honda.  Or be Agnostic.... but then how couldn't I be? What with a god that MAKES your worst nightmares come true as a matter of course.

But as far as being a home-maker, I hadn't really imagined anything else, or actually SEEN anything else.  I kind of thought I'd only-the-good die young, so tragic, so romantic. They have the BEST funerals. And then I was 24 and maybe that wasn't going to happen after all. And, oh shit!, what if I lived to 85?  How could I afford 20 years of retirement?  God's got 50 more years to MAKE me become a doctor and 45 more to MAKE me marry Mike Dolan.  God could do that... if he WANTS to bad enough.  Let's hope he just sits around wanting and doesn't actually wake up early on Saturday mornings to practice.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vent-age Farmer on the Dell

I have so much to say and little ability to recall it while sitting here at the computer, a laptop perched on a, literally, old school desk with an empty inkwell... the kind I sat in at school, although I'm not THAT old.  The school I went to was old, both in thought and facility.  When I sit at the computer, it's like there's this different world.  Things I virtually commit to rarely make it on my real calendar.  And things I mean to look up once I boot up the Farmer in the Dell, are often forgotten once I see the screen.  There's an impenetrable veil between the worlds.

Today is Coyote's 7th birthday.  It was a good birth, lo, these seven years ago.  It was a quick, honest three and a half hours and out came a screaming 9 pound tub of discontent who didn't talk until he was 3 and cried for several hours every day for the first... um..7 years and counting.  The only way to keep him quiet was to take a long bath with him for an hour a day for that first year. 

Pomona (the latest name for our farmette) is again basking in the afterglow of several firsts.  It's fun to have a hobby where two years in to it, I'm still having firsts. I like big, big projects.

First first: butter, thereby proving that I'm not a witch and not worth burning.  Thanks for your patience.  I'm temporarily having real cream and the butter is easy to make but intense.  Our strawberries, peas, cucumbers, herbs, radishes, etc, etc, plus butter, milk and eggs are radically flavored.  After getting over the spring shock of taste, I have a hard time understanding how everything store bought is so utterly bland.  What do they do to these things that makes them so tasteless? Do the stores have taste sucking equipment? or is that on the truck that brings it?  Does it keep us coming back for more, do they tease us with a fix and then ensure we leave less than fully satisfied?

Snow on Mt. Spokane ruins
Second first: sold a cow.  Ginger was just over one and very ready to breed.  She was short and fat with a wonky build and despite all that, I think I sold her for too little.  That's classic me: under valuing all that I have to offer. It was sad to see her go. She is my most adventurous cow with a curious and playful streak.  She seemed ready to see what came next, excited actually, as the trailer pulled away.   I was sad, but the much needed cash buoyed my spirits.  And I could actually say with some confidence that she was going to a better place with more acreage, taller grass, daily grain, lots of friends, and a bull. 

Third first:  castration.  Beignet is a little... under the weather today.  It took four of us.  Huck and Sergei to hold him down and Maria to work the rubber band machine and me to fret and ask if there was something I should be doing, over and over again.  But now I've seen it done... so I think that some day I could see someone else to it again. Only next time I could probably yell directions too: "Are they both in there?  Hold the legs tighter!  Keep his head down!  Is he still breathing?"  He was wild boy, big and strong and he wasn't that in to it.  And I have to say that I do feel bad about that too.  But I really have even less use for a bull than a steer, no matter how long his odd white eyelashes are, and how wild his soul. 

Mt Kit Carson
I think I also wanted to say something about the light switches in this house.  It's an old house and apparently, back in 1901, they really didn't get lights or switches or the whole concept.  They thought, "Why would you want to turn the light on as soon as you walk in to a dark room?  Why not just stub your toes all the way across the room, like we always used to, and rub your hands up and down the walls until you find the most unlikely possible place, and THAT will be your switch!"  And I find this affects me when I go to hotels and other people's houses.  I walk in to a room and immediately think, "Where's the worst possible place to a put a light switch?"  And my hand instinctively goes there.  I can see how 110 years ago, people might be new to this and hadn't worked out all the kinks.  But in '97, the house got all new electrical wiring and I can't understand how they didn't think to fix this insanity then.

And since it's summer, I also wanted to address body hair, which I have hanging out all over the place here.  Women always confide in me, "Oh gosh, I wish I could go without shaving too.  It's such a pain!"  And I always think, "Wait, do we have the Taliban... or Caliban or whatever here?  Do you get stoned to death in the soccer arena for not shaving legs? Or are you full of shit?" I can't even believe it's an issue.   Ladies: you don't have to shave.  Period.  Stop pretending you do. There's not even any blow back. No one has ever said a critical word to me about it... almost never.  I had a boss who made me shave my legs to keep my waitressing job (see why I don't want to work!?).  And my friend once asked me to shave my pits before clubbing, which I felt was fair enough.  But as far as me waltzing around town in short shorts and a tank top: no one has ever said a thing, grimaced, spat, scowled, NOTHING.  It certainly doesn't seem to put a dent in the assessments from the males.  And the only thing the women ever say is: I wish I could go without. Then do.  You're hair will start out dark, and you'll never get the original downy fluff back, but then the sun bleaches it and most people don't even notice.  And the only comment you'll ever get is:  I wish I could go without shaving.  And if someone has a problem with you being a post-pubescent mammal, you don't need them.  Now... I will say that if you aren't ready to do this, if your family is a little outspoken with their disgust at people being hairy, mammary-glanded animals (unlike mine who would be alarmed if I did shave), and if you don't care to engage in that conversation with them, by all means, let them bully you into wasting hours and hours and hours of your life dragging razors over your skin and numbing yourself to the breezes of life.  Don't envy me.  Don't hate me just because I don't give a shit. Just please stop lying about it.  You too can stop shaving.  Now.

Gotta go birthday party now!

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