10/14/10: Way to shame me into updating again by commenting, people who comment! (Seriously, though, hi, welcome, and pull up one of the splintery old orange crates that we use for seating 'round these parts seein' as we can't afford no fancy chairs.)

The rules from
here still apply.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Oh, well. I see you got a new car, huh? Oh, a Toyota. A foreign car. Huh. Funny, good ol' Chevrolet always did fine by me. But I guess everyone's priorities are different.

And I see it's a Prius. Kind of expensive, I hear, not the kind of thing a blue-collar workin' man is likely to be drivin' around. But you've got that job workin' with computers, so it's probably no problem, you bein' able to afford to pay extra.

Sure, sure, the mileage, I hear ya. Seems all them foreign cars have the fancy engines these days... how much does it get? Forty-eight miles per gallon? Very nice. That'll almost make up for the cost of the car. Plus I suppose you're doin' your part, savin' the environment by drivin' this thing. Guess you feel pretty good about yourself, huh? Guess I'm not quite the hero you are. Not when my old Chevy gets eighteen, twenty miles a gallon, tops.

You'll fit right in when you go drivin' to Whole Foods to buy your arugula, now. Heck, you might even have trouble figuring out which car is yours next time you go off to your little voter-registration rallies. Meanwhile I'll keep drivin' my old Chevy to Wal-Mart, an' try to not think too much about how much a better person you are'n me.

Damn kids these days.

I recently [as I type this up in September 2008] moved to Unnamed City in Unnamed State; the car population here has to be at least 5% Priuses. Then I drove 400 miles (in a 20-year-old van that gets a little over 20 miles to the gallon, if anyone's keeping track) back down to Other Unnamed State, which I had moved from, and saw one Prius over the course of an entire weekend there.

There are a lot of farmers and rustic types in Other Unnamed State What I Moved From, who maybe aren't so much into the whole elitist leftist arugula-eating hybrid-car thing, and while I know they are not all cantankerous old bastards, I'm still allowed to make up what I think they might say if they were to see the shiny new Prius coming to me in Local Toyota Dealer's October shipment. Whee!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


She looked at him silently, just staring for a moment from heavy-lidded eyes. Then she snorted. "But not a receipt for dry-cleaning, I'm betting," she muttered, just loud enough for him to not be quite sure if he'd heard her right. He thought about asking her to repeat it, but settled for rubbing futilely at the oyster sauce stain that still showed faintly on one sleeve.

"It's a good old suit," he mumbled to her back as she turned away. She didn't answer, so he added, "Good for a marryin' or a buryin'." He smiled a little, but she still wasn't looking at him. Apparently there was something more interesting in her purse.

At last she snapped it closed again, then glanced over her shoulder at him. "Well, given the options, this is definitely more of a buryin'." He winced, and finally a thin smile touched her lips. "Are we ready yet?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I guess so."

"Fine." She strode out of their bedroom, although lately it had really been more his bedroom. He'd glanced in at the guest room the other night, as he passed by on his way to the bathroom; it was a nice little setup she had in there. Her grandmother's quilt was on the old twin bed, the one she had never wanted to put on the bed they'd shared.

"Well?" he heard her call. She didn't sound all that eager to go -- seeing the counselor had been his idea, not hers -- but he knew her basic philosophy on life. Soonest begun, soonest done. Or as she usually put it, "Get it over, already."

"Coming, dear," he called back, and pretended not to hear her irritated sigh.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


They had been the hellraisers of their graduating class, although the be-pink-mohawked waitress assigned to them would probably not believe it. Said be-pink-mohawked waitress was currently ignoring them in favor of the teenagers three booths down. They were wearing approximately enough black leather to re-cover the cow.

Herb and Tricia had come off the worst from the last forty years, really. Tricia had wound up a born-again kindergarten teacher with diabetes, who looked the first two and wouldn't quit talking about the third. Herb -- "H.B." back in those days, thank you, "Herbert Bloom" was his father and the old man was a square -- had done a bout with cocaine in the 80s, done another one with cancer in the 90s, and now mainly sat there nodding his head constantly. Lorraine didn't think he was actually agreeing with anything; she was pretty sure he just couldn't help it.

Jerry had always been the creative mind of their group, the one who came up with the really good gags. Gluing the mackerel to their English teacher's windows had been his idea -- fifty pounds of expired fish, salvaged from behind the butcher's shop, carefully arranged in smelly lines across the windowpanes and stuck fast with industrial-strength adhesive swiped from his dad, all while the old woman slept. Or Lorraine's personal favorite, swapping the mayor's wife's prized terrier with another one they'd found by the train tracks, and dumping the "missing" pet in the yard of a woman suspected of being the mayor's bit on the side. That'd been good for a month's worth of laughs. Jerry had probably aged the best of any of them; and as if to prove it, he was wearing his sunglasses even in the dim restaurant, and somehow managing to pull it off.

As for herself, Lorraine supposed she had done all right. No drastic personality changes like Tricia, no drug problems like Herb (at least not after the 70s, and not so much that you could really call it a problem)... she hadn't managed to make her living as a free-wheeling poet, despite all her youthful plans, but being an art historian wasn't bad either. It certainly let her visit a lot of museums, where she could reflect on the past and how many, many stupid decisions it held.

Suddenly Jerry grinned. "Remember the time we filled the principal's trunk with limburger?"

"In the middle of July!" Lorraine replied, laughing. "You and Tricia were so mad about having to go to summer school."

Tricia's mouth turned down. "What little monsters we were back then. Shameful, really." Herb nodded vaguely, staring in no particular direction.

"So we pooled our money together -- " Jerry continued.

Lorraine snorted. "Sure, 'our' money in that we acquired it somehow -- "

"Bought out the town's entire supply, I think -- "

"And Herb jimmied open the trunk with a paper clip!"

Lorraine and Jerry both laughed. Tricia tweaked at the cross hanging around her neck, muttering something about forgiveness; Herb scratched his arm vaguely.

One of the teenagers three booths down leaned over to yell past the be-pink-mohawked waitress. "Howzabout you shut up, huh, y'old geezers? Go talk about your bingo or whatever somewhere else." Then the waitress said something, and the entire group of teenagers erupted into unkind laughter.

Jerry looked at Lorraine again, and there was a hard light in his eyes. He ignored Herb and Tricia completely. "There's a cheese shop a block away, and I saw which car those kids came in. What say we go for Stinking Bishop this time?"

If you think about it, the principal would've had to have his "new '39 Ford" some sixty-nine years ago. Assuming these folks were all early bloomers, and already in high school at a mere ten years old, that would still make them older than John McCain.

They've actually aged remarkably well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Kevin’s doctor’s appointment at four Elsie’s soccer practice at six Matt’s permission slip signed sometime tonight so he can go on that field trip tomorrow and sometime tonight, the bills paid.


More bills every day, it seems sometimes, and really no money coming in to pay them. Rent and utilities, clothes and food, and Kevin’s medicine and Matt’s inhaler and the new glasses the doctor swears Rachel needs though how he can tell when she’s only three I just don’t know –


If I could just get more hours at the diner it’d be something. Or if Paul could ever cough up on child support. Maybe I should just try to sell the car, instead of getting it fixed again.


And Rachel’s cough just isn’t going away. Still paying off the bills from when she got sick last year, and we just can’t afford another hospital stay like that, but if I don’t take her in and it turns out to be serious –


And of course I’ve still got to mop and vacuum and get the dishes done, and the laundry soon too if Elsie’s to have any clothes to take to camp.


Well, hopefully I can get to the chores sometime after the kids go to bed and before it’s time to leave for work…


I need to calm down. Calm. Maybe do the dishes. That’s relaxing. Nothing but me and the dishes and –


No no calm now just me and the dishes.

Just me and this plate, and this sippy cup, and this spoon.

And this knife.



Because kangamom there is very obviously about two seconds from snapping.