The Art of Futility

I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time moving pillows around a couch.

I noticed this morning as I was "straightening" up the living room, that I seem to spend a few minutes of every day moving pillows around on the couch.  Apparently, there is the place they are supposed to sit to be aesthetically pleasing, and then there are the corners they get crammed into when they are actually being functional.  These two locations are mutually exclusive, of course, so I consequently spend a few minutes each morning returning pillows to their proper place.  Or perhaps that's what the Winged Monkey is doing when he crams them back into the corners every night?  Maybe I'm trying to inspire the pillows to be something more, while he simply embraces them for what they truly are.

Which is great for pillows, but not so much for dishes, which I also spend a few minutes every day (or two) (or three, if I'm honest) moving in and out of  the dishwasher and the cupboards.  They're like all the celebrity rehab patients: they get all cleaned up sparkling pretty, only to find themselves covered in half chewed food in a blink of an eye.

It's the tragedy of housework, is what it is.  And I'm not sure human beings were really intended to spend their time on this planet, or this celestial plane, or their current incarnation, or whatever in an endless loop of rearranging household objects.

Which is why I should be grateful that my vacation is winding down and next week I will be back at work instead of sitting on my couch staring at pillows or sighing over a kitchen sink overflowing with pathetic plates.  ("Should" being the key word in that sentence.)  And yet...

Despite my ramblings of an existential housewife, I still feel the most absurd sense of accomplishment when I have a dish-free sink and a drawer full of shiny clean spoons.  Ridiculous, I know, but there you have it.

My version of Buddhist sand art: properly placed pillows and a cupboard of spot-free glasses.

Posted at 8:56 AM
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A Writer's Beginnings?

The first book I ever wrote (that I can remember) was when I was in the 1st grade.  It was called Lucy, My Crazy Dog and was about, of all things, Lucy, the family dog.  At that point we had only had Lucy for a few months, and we were still learning some of her more eccentric personality traits. The book was pretty much a catalog of all of the things she got in trouble for, like breaking through the window screen to chase after birds that had landed in the front yard or digging in my mothers potted plants to bury Twinkies she had stolen from the pantry.   I can still remember my father reading it the night I brought it home from school, laughing as he leaned against the counter of our harvest gold kitchen.  He told me it was great, and while I'm sure every kid's parents said the same to their child that night, I'm pretty sure mine wasn't just blowing smoke.  This was highbrow literature at it's first-grade finest.

A couple of years later, I had to write another book for school; this time I produced the psychological thriller Fexter and the Party which was about, oddly enough, a boy named Fexter who goes to his friend's house for a party only to be told there is no party and that his friend doesn't live there.  The twist at the end, of course was that (spoiler alert!) the whole ordeal turns out to be a dream, and Fexter wakes up in time to get dressed and make it to the party after all.  Where I came up with the name Fexter I have no idea, but I'm pretty sure the dream sequence was inspired by my watching the TV show Dallas with my mom and the whole Pam-finds-her-dead-husband-Bobby-in-the-shower-one-morning-and-his-whole-dying-had-all-been-a-dream twist.  Funny that a silly plot device used  after a contract re-negotiation would leave such an indelible mark on my budding literary genius.

And now, nearly 30 years later, every time I see a commercial for the Dallas reboot, I can't help but think about poor Fexter.  I wonder if he suffered any ill effects from his nightmare.  If he has anxiety attacks every time an Evite hits his inbox.  Because he's still around, you know.  Fexter.  In all his purple-squiggly-headed glory. (I was not much of an illustrator, you know.)  he's there in my head with a hundred other characters and a thousand opening lines, most of which I have never had the courage to commit to paper or hard drive or blog post.  Because where do you start?  And once you start, where will you end up?  And shouldn't you know the answer to at least those two most basic questions before you begin such an undertaking as creating an entire world and all the people in it?

Posted at 5:02 PM

Under Lock and Key

My yard is in dire need of a little attention. Not that this is in any way a new state for my yard to find itself in; but usually when I start to notice the unkempt appearance of my lawn, I drag out my bright green Lawn Boy and give it a trim.

But my lawn mower is in the garage.
And my garage door won't open.

According to the Internet, broken automatic garage doors are a pretty common occurrence. Although, according to the same Internet, garages like mine are pretty uncommon, and, therefore not fixed by the ubiquitous emergency release lever on pretty much every model garage door opener.

I'm fairly certain that detached garages were typical in the 1950s when my house was built. The majority of the houses in my neighborhood have the same little detached huts at the end of their driveways. I'm guessing, back in the day, most of them had a simple swing-up door that you could easily flip open with one hand. But folks have modernized over the years, and about the time the neighborhood started adding vinyl siding and double-paned windows, most of the garages in my neighborhood had an automatic opener installed with a newer roll up door popular in the 80s.

Which would be fine...if my automatic door opener was working. Which it's not.
Which wouldn't be a big deal...if my garage had an entrance other than the roll up door. Which it doesn't.
Which wouldn't be a problem, if I had an emergency release lock in the garage door. Which I do.
Which would mean problem solved...if I had the key for it. Which I don't.

Needless to say, my unruly grass gets at least one more night to run riot, and my Saturday morning will be spent finding a key shop or locksmith who can make a key from the lock number and then praying to all that is holy that the emergency release cable that is supposed to be attached to said lock actually is. Attached, that is. Because otherwise?

Let's just say the Winged Monkey probably won't mind if I have to buy another chainsaw (since the one we already have is stored the garage.)

Posted at 8:35 PM

When Worlds Collide

I'm used to the wacky shows that show up in our DVR list.  1,000 Ways to DieLocked Up Abroad.  Hell, I'll even watch the episodes of Swamp People the Winged Monkey records. ("Tree Shaker!!!")

What I am not prepared for is when his shows begin to invade my in show up in the plot.

The last episode of Grey's Anatomy featured a couple who were doomsday preppers.  For those not familiar with the concept, doomsday prepping is code for OCD behavior centered on the idea of some type of apocalyptic event: hoarding food in case of global vegetable blight, building a bunker in case of a nuclear attack, preparing clean room sin your home so you are ready in the event of a global pandemic.  A TV show called, appropriately enough, Doomsday Preppers began last year that profiled preppers around the country and even rated them and gave them recommendations for approval.

There was the grandfather who built an "ark" out of old school buses he has buried, anticipating the need to house all of his community's children in case an apocalyptic event made the re-population of the planet necessary.

There was the militia-happy father who put his entire family through preparedness drills on a regular basis to guarantee they are ready in case of an economic meltdown that will lead to general anarchy.  This included sneaking up on his 12-year-old daughter (while she worked math problems at the board of her homeschool classroom) and pretending to hold her at gunpoint...until she, accroding to her father's training, disarmed her attacker.

There was the pandemic prepper who made her daughter-in-law stay in "quarantine" with her infant grandson for 3 hours as part of an outbreak drill... while the rest of family ate their Thanksgiving dinner.  She supplied all of her neighbors with rubber gloves and surgical gowns.

Needless to say, I tend to think the preppers would be better served by therapy rather than the "expert recommendations" they receive at the end of their segments. 

But it was amusing to see the WM perk up and pay attention when he heard the term "bug out bags" come out of the TV when I was watching Grey's.  Amusing and a bit unsettling.  I mean, it's one thing to watch the shows he records and make fun of them with him.  But I'd hate to think he would take their appearance in Primetime to be indicative of their validity.  The man already has a stash of clothing from he sophomore year in high school.  He has kept the framed Darth Vader watercolor his middle school friend gave him...for 30 years.

The last thing he needs is any encouragement to start stashing dehydrated food packs in the hollow core doors to our closets or stockpiling bottled water in the crawl space under our house.  How many gallons do you think he could fit under 1300 square feet?

Posted at 9:12 PM
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Kitchen Confidential

Cooking with Daisy, Tip #5:

Barbecue sauce makes everything better. Even slightly burned pork chops.

Recommended brand: Stubbs.

*For the record:

Cooking with Daisy, Tip #1:
When in doubt, order out.

Cooking with Daisy, Tip #2:
If I paid the delivery guy, I get credit for cooking.

Cooking with Daisy, Tip #3:
It is perfectly acceptable to order pizza two nights in a row as long as it is from different pizza joints.
Different names on the box = completely different meals.

Cooking with Daisy, Tip #4:
Chinese and Thai are not at all the same thing, even if they do use the same delivery guy some nights.

Posted at 10:50 PM
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Daisy's Tweets

My Momma Taught Me To Share

Tag, you're it!