Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's a blizzard

Trees on our sliding hill.  

We are having a full-fledged, Little House On The Prairie type blizzard today.  I know it's a true blizzard because Mitch went out driving.  Every time we get a snowstorm, Mitch insists on getting in the car and driving around in it.  He says it's festive, but also, I think he is trying to stick it to the weather experts on TV and radio who say to stay off the roads.  THEY ARE NOT THE BOSS OF HIM!

I was outside shoveling off the deck and Mitch came outside with his hockey bag and said, "I'm going to hockey, see ya later!"  I was bundled up so only my face was sticking out, pretending I was Laura Ingalls and I had to shovel a path to the barn because Albert was in there detoxing from his morphine addiction and if I didn't get to him he would DIE.  The wind was blowing around in circles and howling like a freight train, and Mitch comes out like "Dum de dum de dum, just a regular day, whistle whistle whistle," totally oblivious to the weather.  He got in his truck and left.  About an hour later he was back and actually said the words, "The roads are un-driveable!"  Now THAT'S a blizzard!

Now he is outside plowing the driveway with Sam.  Kira is building a fort.  The dog thinks all this new snow is bullshit, and I have vowed to celebrate by wearing my pajamas all day and watching every western on MeTV.  I already watched Gunsmoke and Bonanza and now I'm in the middle of The Big Valley.  Yesterday on The Rifleman, Lucas shot the points off the antlers of a deer head hanging in a saloon.  Each individual tip! With a rifle!  Miraculously there were no gigantic bullet holes in the wall behind the deer head.  I don't know how he does it!  The scene cut away before we could see the bartender say, "Lucas! WTF?!?" because if you're going to have a taxidermied deer head hanging on your wall, you want all the points on it.  Everyone knows that.  If you go to all the trouble of hunting a deer, having the head mounted, and hanging it up on a wall, it's pretty inconsiderate for someone to come in and shoot off all the points, Lucas.

show off

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kira in the car

Kira might be annoying sometimes (right, Sam?) but she sure is easy to please.  Mitch bought her a soda pop in a glass bottle the other day and she is obsessed with drinking things out of her glass bottle.  And whenever she has it near her she compulsively yells, "GLAAAAAAAS Bottle!" which led to this latest installment of Kira in the car:

"If I ever get in a bar fight I hope I have this glass bottle with me. I would break it over somebody's head."

And believe me, if she is willing to break her precious glass bottle over someone's head, they probably really have it coming. 

Also, I think I've been subjecting her to too many old westerns and the standard at-least-once-an-episode, glass-breaking saloon fight.  Violence isn't the answer, Kira. 

And another thing:  While in my Effexor coma, all I did exercise-wise was make things on my computer.  My fingers are STRONG.  I started a little online store on Zazzle, and made some bloggy things.  Mostly magnets, but also some ridiculously expensive coffee mugs.  And a T-shirt.  I don't know if I like the T-shirt.  I might take that one down.  The magnets are all Kira in the Car quotes.  Check it out here.



One more thing:  I am so FAT right now.  I might have to go on a diet because I had to put clean pants on this morning because I spilled strawberry shortcake on yesterday's pants, which I was planning on wearing again today (and tomorrow and the next day).  Anyway, the deep squats and lunges I had to do, along with the accompanying grunts to make the clean pants stretch to accomodate all my new flesh were anything but appealing (right, Mitch?)  So I will probably start detailing my dieting sob story again at The Chunkersons.  Who's with me?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Touch Up

I've been touching up photos lately.  I love technology.  Why would I ever go on a diet or get a tan when I can just make myself skinny and tan in photos after the fact?  The differences are so subtle you can hardly tell anything was done, but people just look better.  See if you can see the differences I made in the sets of pictures.  The first picture is the original and the second one is the touch-up.  



Could you spot the differences?  
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Okay, let's try again with another picture.  This one is me and my niece Millie:



So subtle!  Millie just looks a little more *with it*, don't you think?
--------------------------------------------

One more time:



I changed one tiny thing and it made all the difference in Sam's level of coolness.  Can you tell what it was or do you just feel the cool vibe?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Effexor, a nightmare in a capsule or convenient tablets!

Remember a while back when I told you that my post-partum depression was rearing its ugly head again? Well, I've been beating it back since then and it's been kind of a rough road.  My doctor doubled my dose of Prozac which didn't really help all that much.  So then she said "we" should try Effexor.  She said Prozac might have stopped working because sometimes people develop a tolerance.  Effexor works as an SSRI as well as a norepinephrine uptake inhibitor.  Or something like that.  I was willing to try anything.  While I was in the office she told me not to stop taking the Effexor abruptly because although it wouldn't be life-threatening, it might be "uncomfortable."  She said one of the nice things about Effexor is that it also has anti-anxiety properties.  Okay, sure, I like being calm I guess.  I have never really had a huge issue with anxiety.  I don't particularly like going to the dentist or almost dying on planes, but other than that, I have no history of anxiety issues.

I started taking the Effexor.  After a couple of weeks I was feeling every last possible ever-recorded side effect.  I had chills, brain fog (which I suspect is part of the anti-anxiety?), chest pain, crippling lethargia (more anti-anxiety?),

This is what I'm like on anti-anxiety medication
eye pressure, muscle weakness, etc. etc. etc.  I had to stop taking it even though it was working on the depression.  I looked up how to taper off and I read some horror stories about Effexor withdrawal.  HORROR stories.  Like people saying that it was comparable to withdrawing from heroin.  Like people saying they had to take weeks off of work until they got over the worst of it.  Like people saying they split apart capsules and counted out the hundreds of tiny beads and reduced their intake of the drug by one teeny bead a day, taking months and months to taper off and STILL had withdrawal symptoms.  What???  Why would my doctor give me something so scary?

I didn't think it could really be all that bad, so I told my doctor I was getting off it and began tapering with no horrible effects.  The doctor told me that I might experience some mild anxiety while I was withdrawing. Like I said, anxiety has never really been a problem for me so I wasn't very concerned.  Eventually I got down to taking such a tiny chunk of pill that I almost couldn't see it and still, no side effects!  No effects, that is, until I actually stopped taking the medicine.  I've been totally off for about a week and every day I wake up with a throbbing headache and joint and muscle pain like I have the flu.  There's also mild, annoying, dizziness and nausea.  I am also finding it hard to concentrate on things. I am listening to a book on CD and it's been so frustrating because I can't keep the characters or plot straight.  It might just be a bad book, but I can't really tell.  The last thing I needed was a pill that makes me sick and dumber than I already was.  All of this is annoying, but it will get better.  I can power through the physical effects.

But remember when I told you the doctor told me I might experience some "mild anxiety" during withdrawal?  Have you ever had a panic attack?  I hadn't before, but a few days ago I had a flat-out, freakshow panic attack.  I thought I was having a heart attack and was going to DIE.  I could hardly move.  I couldn't stop sobbing.  I could hardly breathe.  It was the worst feeling EVER.  Holy shit!  "MILD anxiety???"

The doctor gave me a prescription for Wellbutrin.  I'm afraid to take it!  Now that I know she is the queen of understatement I'm worried about everything she bothers to casually mention.  She told me that Wellbutrin is a bit of a stimulant so not to take it before bed.  What does that mean in reality?  Does it mean that I will need to get a person-sized hamster wheel to burn off the stimulating effects of the Wellbutrin?

(Maybe a hamster wheel is not a bad idea....)
Will my whole family be annoyed by the sound of my hamster wheel squeaking all night long every single night that they will have to move my cage to the laundry room? The doctor also said that some people experience increased anxiety.  Does this mean my heart will literally explode?  I read on Drugs.com that Wellbutrin can sometime cause seizures.  I don't want seizures.  I prefer my brain seizure-free.  Of course, my doctor didn't mention anything about seizures.  That probably means there's only about a 75% chance that it will happen.  I still feel pretty good depression-wise so I'm in no hurry to get on anything else right now.

What kind of medicine do you take?  Do you have any side effect nightmare stories that will make me feel better about mine?

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Last GW Fun Fact (for now)

President's Week pretentious fun fact!: This is the last day of our week of presidential fun facts.  I can tell you loved it by ALL the comments that are clogging up my server (sarcasm).  Awwww...  So we will end on a sad note so you don't miss it too much.

George Washington died when he was 67 years old.  He was retired from political life and spent his days riding around overseeing his farms.  One night he complained of a sore throat, but it didn't seem serious.  Early the next morning he woke Martha and told her he was feeling terribly sick.  She wanted to get up and call a doctor, but he didn't want her to.  He didn't want her to catch a cold (considerate dreamboat) so she waited until morning and then summoned help.  Several doctors came to administer aid to Washington during the day.  GW was having trouble breathing and talking so the doctors bled him, TWICE.  It didn't help (obviously) and Washington asked not to be bled again, but they did anyway (doctor's NEVER listen!).  He was bled again.  They took 35% of his blood volume in all the bleedings.  Nobody knows for sure, but there is speculation that Washington had epiglottitis which is a serious infection of the throat that cuts off airflow to the lungs.  Washington kept getting worse, and was suffering horribly.  One of the doctors suggested a tracheotomy which would have restored his breathing, but he was overruled by the other doctors because back then there was no anesthesia (ow) and they didn't want to cause the president more suffering.  According to Tobias Lear, Washington's personal secretary, this was his last exchange:

"I am just going. Have me decently buried; and do not let my body be put into the Vault in less than three days after I am dead." I [Lear] bowed assent, for I could not speak. He then looked at me again and said, "Do you understand me? I replied "Yes." "Tis well" said he.


He died shortly after "without a struggle or a sigh" (according to Lear).  Sad huh? 


There was a doctor named William Thorton who came to Mount Vernon the day after Washington died and proposed attempting a reanimation.  He thought with a tracheotomy, an infusion of lambs blood and gradual thawing, the president could be brought back to life.  Martha vetoed the plan.  


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That's it for President's Week!  Tomorrow I will have a new header!  But if you find yourself missing George Washington, I've added a page on the blog with all my GW information. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Girls

I just got back from a quick trip to visit my parents and my sister and her daughters, Sid and Millie.



Sid, the three year old, is a BRAT, but she makes me laugh harder than anyone.  My mom told me a story about how one day Sid fell down the stairs.  She fell forward and was lying on the stairs on her stomach with her head facing down and her feet on the top step.  My mom was shocked that she fell and was on her way to ask if she was okay and help her up when she heard Sid say, "Grandma... Grandma... grab my feet."  She wouldn't move because she was afraid she would fall further and it cracks me up that she had a plan for my mom to save her while she was lying on her stomach on the steps.  I'm laughing even as I write this.  

A few weeks ago she got her first case of diarrhea since she has been potty trained.  She came out of the bathroom and told my mom, with her voice full of wonder, "I peepooped!"

Yesterday Sid was all hyped up and being obnoxious.  She was about to jump on Kira and Kira said, "Oh god."  And Sid cracked up laughing and ran up to me and told me "Kira called me 'OOOOHHHGAAAAA!" and then ran to the bedroom where my sister was changing Millie and yelled into the room "Kira called me OOOOHHGAAAAAA!" and then she shut the light off and shut the door.  Beth had just taken Millie's diaper off so the baby was lying on the bed half naked and suddenly they were both thrust into total darkness.   Why do I think that is so funny?

Beth is trying to teach Sid the concept of time-outs for undesirable behavior.  She tells her that she has to stay in her room for her time-out until Beth comes back to get her.  Sid lies on her stomach in the hall with only her feet in her room and yells, "MOM, COME AND TALK TO ME!"

Sid thinks it is HILARIOUS to call me Amy and call Amy Sarah.  She's been doing that since she could talk, and we thought it was just an honest mistake, but it isn't.  She does it on purpose to stick it to us.  Yesterday she made me pretend she was a baby and put her in the crib for a nap.  Gladly, I thought.  When I got about two steps out of the room she started yelling, "AMY! COME AND GET THE BABY! AMY!  AMY!  AMY!  AMY!  AAAAAAAAMMMMMYYYYYY!!!!!!" So I yelled back, "Amy isn't here!"  and she laughed and laughed and said, "SARAH, COME AND GET THE BABY!"  So I went back in the room and she looked at me with her sweet little face and said, "Hi Amy!"  She's a brat.




President's Week pretentious fun fact!:  Washington was known for his incredible physical strength and dexterity (swoon).  At the end of the revolution told a friend that he never knew anyone who could throw a rock as far as he could. Once he threw a rock on top of the Natural Bridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Here's the Natural Bridge:


Those tiny things at the bottom are people.  (It's really high.) Another time at Mount Vernon a group of young men were having a competition "throwing the bar" which I suppose is like a javelin.  Washington happened upon the young men who were stripped down, sweating, showing off, and asked where the furthest mark was.  He then grabbed the bar and flung it further than any of them without so much as removing his jacket.  He smiled and said, "When you beat my pitch, young gentlemen, I'll try again," and walked away.

Washington was also a fantastic horseman.  Preceding the Battle of Trenton, GW was riding up and down a column of soldiers on horseback and suddenly his horse slipped and started to fall backward down a steep, icy slope.  Washington locked his fingers into the horse's mane and hauled up its head by brute force.  He shifted his balance backward just enough to allow the horse to regain its footing.  The people that witnessed it were in awe.  Washington saw their stunned faces and said, "What? It's no biggy."  (no, he didn't.)  I saw Mitch do that on the lawn tractor once.  It really is impressive.


This has nothing to do with GW's strength, but I like it so I'm including it:  Ethan Allen (the man, not the furniture company) was captured by the British during the Revolution and he reported that the British had a picture of George Washington hung in their outhouse.  Allen supposedly said, "It is most appropriately hung. There is nothing that will make an Englishman shit so quick as the sight of General Washington."  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, George Washington!

I don't have an actual post today, just my pretentious George Washington fun fact.

Oh yeah and this:


Happy George Washington's Birthday to YOU!


President's Week pretentious fun fact!:  Although he lived in a time before vaccinations or good medical care, George Washington was surprisingly resilient, physically.  He had many horrible diseases in his lifetime, including diptheria, smallpox, malaria, dysentery, tuberculosis, depression, quinsy, pneumonia, pleurisy, and a throat infection that eventually killed him when he was in his late sixties.

In the midst of the French and Indian war, while on a 100 mile trek (no roads) he was struck with dysentery.  General Braddock ordered him to go back but he refused.  It was so bad that he had to stop riding his horse and ride in a cart.  The diarrhea (and, I'm guessing, the resultant case of white-hot sting ring) caused hemorrhoids (another thing we have in common! ) When he was well enough to ride again he put pillows on his saddle to ease the discomfort.  He wanted to lead his troops into the woods and engage the enemy but Braddock refused.  Eventually Washington was the only leader left during the battle.  He had two horses shot out from under him and had bullet holes in his hat and jacket, but didn't get shot. GW was the only person left able to distribute Braddock's orders and lead the retreat. Somehow Washington was able to ride 40 miles through darkness to summon reinforcements, though he occasionally had to crawl on his hands and knees to find the road. All while recovering from DYSENTERY. He later admitted that the ride left him "in a manner wholly unfit for the execution of the duty"  He lost a lot of weight and took a long time to recover, but he did.  Isn't he dreamy?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Winter Break Activities!

video




President's Week pretentious fun fact!:  George Washington did not have wooden teeth, Simone!  He did, however, have bad teeth and by the time he became president he only had one natural tooth left.  His dentist used this as an anchor for his barbaric dentures.  His dentures were made of lead (as pictured) or ivory, human teeth (gross), cow teeth (super gross), and springs.  Here's a picture:


That space in the back right side of the picture is where his natural tooth was.  The metal must have rubbed on that tooth relentlessly.  GW got to be friendly with his dentist (mistake) and when his last tooth fell out he gave it to this dentist who put it in a little glass case and put it on his watch fob (psychopath).

Monday, February 20, 2012

Blog Buttons

I've been having the best time lately playing with picnik.com.  I've been making blog buttons.  They are on my sidebar.  You can take one if you want.  Actually, I don't know how to make real blog buttons, the kind that you, as a reader with a fellow blog are able to "grab" and post on your blog, so they are just pictures with text on them.  I looked up the directions for blog buttons on google and I understand everything except how to assign a web address to a picture. What????  Like anyone is really supposed to be able to figure that out!  I figured out a way to make them the poor-man's (dumb girl's) way:  Take the picture and put it on your sidebar and then link my address to the picture.  I realize that the downfall of this plan is that you could link any site to my picture and that might be kind of hilarious, but I'd like it if you just linked my site to my picture.

I find the best buttons are made from unflattering pictures of myself.  I have so many choices!  This button is made from my all-time favorite picture of myself:


It was taken when I was eleven years old.  We were in Tasmania touring the crap out of the place (I'm not kidding. We lived in Australia for a year. Shut up, Mitch) and my sisters and I were SICK of looking at old convict artifacts so we threw ourselves into playing with our barbies.  We were walking around this old graveyard and my dad wanted a picture of the old graves but he wanted a person in it because he says that pictures are always better with people in them.  I was sick of getting my picture taken too, so I wasn't interested in putting my best foot forward anymore so I didn't bother taking down my hood, or even untying it or loosening it a tiny smidge.  And I was holding Barbie so why not put her best foot forward and give her a little camera time?  And while I was at it, how about a hand on the hip and a white-man's overbite to give that boring old graveyard a little sass?  This picture was lost for a long time.  It was the stuff of Lindahl family legends.  It was talked about and laughed about so much that I thought maybe the silliness of it was being exaggerated.  Then I found the picture a few years ago and it was every bit as silly as we remembered.

On to the next button.  Now, before I show it to you, I want you to know that this is what I thought I looked like:


But this is what I actually looked like:


This is another classic that the people who are supposed to love me most in the world laugh and laugh about.  I was on my honeymoon at Yellowstone National Park and Mitch and my sister and I were seeing the sights. (Amy went on our honeymoon with us. What?)  I was walking around like this ALL DAY.  I had that nifty crossbody bag but nobody told me I was wearing it wrong.  Thanks, new husband!  Thanks, sister!  It's not supposed to go tightly over your boobs, it's supposed to go loosely between your boobs.  I've tried crossbody bags since this incident and they don't look good no matter how I wear them.  If I wear them properly between the boobs like Reese is in the picture of her, it makes one boob look really high and one boob look really low.  Maybe my boobs are lopsided?  Probably.

So grab a button if you want!  And if you know the tightly kept secret of assigning a URL to a photograph, please, let me know.



Sunday, February 19, 2012

President's Week!

Why is George Washington all over this page, you ask?  Because it is his birthday on Wednesday and I'm nothing if not festive.  Also, George Washington is my boyfriend.  Read the books His Excellency George Washington by Joseph Ellis, or Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow and he will probably be your boyfriend too.  He was tall and quiet and dignified and incredibly brave, and he loved dogs and horses.  He had bad teeth, shot bald eagles for fun, and loved to be at home more than anywhere else.  It's like he was made for me.  Of course, there is the slave-owning thing, which is a constant wedge between the two of us.  I've been to Mount Vernon three times in the past couple years (is that braggy?)

Get out of my yard!
It is one of my favorite places in the world.  I would LOVE to have the place to myself for an entire weekend.  I would walk all over the parts that they don't let you walk on, I would snoop in every cupboard and drawer and pretend I lived there.  I think a weekend is all I could take though.  I need my running water, indoor toilets, and refrigeration.

The picture on the header is a portrait of Washington by Igor V. Babailov.


It is titled "My Beloved Country" ~ George Washington.  Babailov is a contemporary painter and based the portrait on the Houdon bust made in Washington's lifetime.

The Houdon bust
The Houdon bust is supposedly the most realistic replica of what Washington actually looked like.  Houdon visited Washington at Mount Vernon after the Revolutionary War, and made a life mask on which to base his sculpture. He followed Washington around for a few days to try to capture the essence of the man.  He said the expression on the face of the bust is based on the look Washington had on his face when he was negotiating the price of some horses and the seller gave him a price that was too high.  Washington just stared him down until the price was lowered.

Happy 280th Birthday, George Washington!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ask Hobo Siren

There is a new advice guru on the scene and I think you should write her a question.


She might choose your question, but she probably won't answer it. I don't care.  I just want to see another one of her videos.


She's brilliant.

Summer@hobosiren.com

Friday, February 17, 2012

Poor decisions that turn out okay keep you from ever learning your lesson: UPDATED!

You know how you get to be a certain age (over 40) and know better than to do some stupid things that seem like a good idea at the time?  Like calling old boyfriends when you have been drinking, or overpacking for a trip, or cutting your hair when you've stayed up too late and are overtired and have just looked at some very unflattering pictures of yourself?  You know how those things are bad ideas?  Well, thankfully I have never done the first one.  Although I have called people who were not YET my boyfriend after I'd been drinking.  It just goes to show that I am charming, charming, charming! even (especially) after I've had a few.  That was years ago though.  Why are we talking about drunk-dialing old and/or future boyfriends?  I don't know.  The last thing: cutting hair in an over-tired state, I've done that plenty of times before.  And I did it again last night.  I was looking at this picture of myself:


(Sometimes I look a lot like Nick Cage)

And I thought, it's time to face facts, I cannot pull off the bare forehead.  I look like Frasier if Frasier had long stringy hair, which he doesn't, therefore I look worse than Frasier. 


So when I was rushing around, getting ready for bed, stressing because I wanted to get some sleep because I had to work at the crack of dawn, I looked at my hair in the bathroom mirror and I thought, "I should cut some bangs."  Actually, here is my entire inner dialogue:

Me:  I should cut some bangs.
Me: Just finish brushing your teeth and go to bed already.
Me:  No. It won't take long.  And I'll look way better.
Me:  No, you won't.  Haven't you learned that late-night hair cutting is NEVER a good idea?
Me:  No.
Me:  You are an idiot.  Hey, why are you getting the scissors?  Go to BED!
Me:  This will only take a second.
Me:  You are going to regret this. 
Me:  No I won't.  I'll look cute.
Me:  No, you won't.  You'll look like you cut your own hair in the middle of the night.
Me:  I look that way all the time anyway.
Me:  That's because it's the only time you ever get haircuts.  Leave it to a professional!
Me:  No.  I can do it.
Me:  PLEASE, just go to bed.
Me:  Here goes!  (snip snip)
Me:  Great.  You did it.  Tomorrow I will tell you "I told you so."
Me:  I think after a fresh washing and blow-drying, it will look good.
Me:  I'm pretty sure it won't. 
Me:  Sure it will.  These choppy chunks will blend right in.
Me:  No they won't.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING!  PUT THE SCISSORS DOWN AND GO TO BED!
Me:  I think I can blend these choppy parts.
Me:  By cutting it more?  STOP!
Me:  I should.  I can't though.  Man, these scissors are dull!  I don't know what's wrong with me.  Help me.
Me:  I give up.  I'm not talking to you anymore.
Me:  Okay, I'll stop.  Goodnight.

And I got up this morning and rolled out of bed, tired from being up so late, and totally forgot about my late-night major-hair-decision.  I washed, dried and I LOOK SO CUTE!  What do you know, late night self-inflicted impulse-haircuts are a good idea! 


Me, this morning.  Bangs are a miracle!

Update:  Okay, that last picture really isn't me.  It is Keara Knightly.  Honest mistake.  One of my loyal readers wanted to see an actual "after" picture of me.  Sorry, but all my pictures are "before" pictures.  I'm still waiting for the day I can call myself an "after."  So anyway, I took some pictures of my new bangs.  Here, have a look:

BEFORE Before:


AFTER Before:


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Culture Clash

I don't really have anything to write about but I wanted to get my personal Valentine's Day love story off the top of the page because it's not Valentine's Day anymore and Mitch says it's "embarrassing," to which I said, "Oh cute, you're embarrassed about our love story!" and he replied, "No,.... embarrassing for you."

Apparently because "normal" people don't freely discuss times when they got drunk and got the shit kicked out of them in public.  But, like I explained to Mitch, "I was a CHILD."  I take no responsibility for anything I did before I turned 18.  Some people thought that because Mitch and I met in such a special way in eleventh grade that we've been together ever since.  Not so.  We didn't even start to date until after college.  In case you didn't notice, I made a bad first impression and it took a good 5 years to convince him that I wasn't a complete hillbilly.  He was already prejudiced against me because he came from a wealthy suburban school district and moved up to International Falls.  It was a bit of culture shock.  Not that we were always having drunken parties and fist fights.  There were many weekends we just aimlessly drove through town and wished for a drunken party and the opportunity to see a fight. Other nights we were lucky enough to find parties out in the woods or at the gravel pits.  Sometimes when we weren't in an underage-drinking mood we would go to church and do a little snake handling or play in our jug bands.  I even had a job as a kid! (making moonshine)

Members of the class of  '89.
(I went to prom with Emmett Otter.)
Mitch says that south of Duluth people up in the Falls are commonly known as "Bush Apes," and still, to this day, when I do something especially crude or socially inept I hear him mutter "bush ape" under his breath.

Yes, I can hear that, Mitch; I'm just too sophisticated to justify it with a response.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Rifleman, the BOOK

I got the greatest surprise in the mail yesterday!  Remember how I told you that my new favorite old show is The Rifleman?  Well, my aunt found the book pictured below at an antique mall and GOT IT FOR ME!  I love it!  You know why?  They have pictures every few pages.  So what I'm going to do for this fine post is do what teachers are supposed to tell kids to do when we teach them to read.  We tell them to take a picture walk and try to figure out what the story is about.  I am going to do just that.  I bet I'll be pretty close to the real story!  Picture walks work!


Okay, from the front cover I can tell the book is going to be mainly about Lucas McCain and his young, loyal son Mark.  I can tell from the tense, protective stance that Lucas is taking that Mark might be in some danger.  Luckily Lucas's trusty rifle is on the scene.  They look to be outside a dwelling with a thatched roof.  I don't recall people in the Old West living in thatched roof dwellings.  It's not a good idea.  Rats get up there and nest.  You know where else rats liked to go in olden times?  In lady's big bouffant hairdos.  The ladies used to plaster their hair up with lard, and at night when they slept vermin would attack their hair.  That's why when your hair is messy it's called a "rat's nest."  I'm not even kidding.  Look it up.  

Another reason thatched roofs and hair-lard products aren't a good idea:  Fire.  


Here is the first illustration.  Lucas seems to be looking over the rifle of a friend of his.  I wonder if he likes it or not?  Maybe he is giving his friend some rifling tips.  At this point in the story, things are going well for Lucas. 


Mark is doing pretty well too!  "Hey pretty little lady, I like your spats!"


Uh oh, first sign of trouble.  Looks like Mark is getting kidnapped.  AGAIN.  Mark is ALWAYS getting kidnapped.  He lures kidnappers from all over the country to kidnap him.  And they even risk kidnapping him despite the fact that his father is the Rifleman, renown all over the West for his accuracy of shooting anything he wants from the hip without aiming.  Mark is irresistible to kidnappers.  


Oh, wait a minute.  Maybe Mark didn't get kidnapped.  He seems to be just fine and with his father watching a man drive a horse through a body off water.  I don't get this.  Who is that guy?  What happened to Mark's kidnapper?  Shouldn't there be a picture resolving that?  If Lucas took his rifle to the kidnapper, I want to see it in illustration form!  


Now what are they looking at?  I don't know.  This is getting frustrating.


What?  Somebody seems to have died. Four dirty looking men carrying a mustachioed man somewhere on a stretcher.  I would guess they are trying to get rid of the body.  What does this have to do with the kidnapper and the water-horse and the thatched roof?  I don't know.  


Here's Mark getting stalked by bad guys again.  Hey Mark, why don't you just stay home?


Okay, what in the HELL is going on now?  Mark appears to be baking something and from the mean look on his face I am guessing that he is in the process of poisoning the batter.  Maybe he is baking some cookies for all his captors.  Why is Pippi Longstocking in this book???  Mark, be more careful with that poison!  It doesn't grow on trees, you know!


Jesus Mark, again???


Apparently Mark got the shit kicked out of him but then got saved and is getting some medical care from a VERY happy doctor and a pretty lady with a giant bowl of soup.  Perhaps they are considering kidnapping Mark?  I'm almost positive they are.


This must be the epilogue picture.  Mark is healed and he and Lucas are shirtless and fixing fences together. Why not?  When you're working closely with barbed wire, you want as much skin as possible exposed.  They are probably talking about all the kidnappers and the morality of poisoning cookies even if they are for kidnappers.  Nobody expects poison in their cookies, Mark.  Nobody.  Have the decency to use a rifle, for God's sake.  Poisoning is the woman's way of committing Old West murder.  

Well, the picture walk wasn't everything I'd hoped.  It must really suck to be a kindergartener, illiterate little psycophaths.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Give Mommy What She Wants Or Else

I just wanted a nice picture of my little girl in her concert attire, ready to give her first band concert in middle school.  Would she oblige?  Take a look:


What's that?  Are her eyes crossed?  Why yes they are.  I saw that and simply said, "Let's take one more," thinking it was just a happy accident.  I still wanted a good picture of her.


Oh no!  Not another accident!  Maybe I need to take her to the eye doctor?  Does she look like this all the time and I just don't notice because I think she's the most beautiful girl in the world?  What's going on?


Do you know how fast she can make this face?  It's pretty fast.  I know, I thought to myself, I'll pretend I'm adjusting the camera and snap a picture before she can do it again.


Almost!  Not quite.  At this point I was laughing HARD, and she was laughing between shots too.  Why couldn't I get a picture of her then?  She looks so adorable when she's laughing!  Next big idea, pretend I'm collapsed with laughter and snap a shot while she thinks I'm incapacitated:


No luck.  I was laughing, but at the same time getting a little ticked off because I really wanted a good picture of her!  Damn it, Kira!  Stop it!  Stand nicely!  Be good!


This time she lunged the camera with her eyes crossed.  Too bad for me.  I had to wait until the concert to get a decent picture of her:


Well Kira, if you want to ruin my mothering moments by making goofy faces, those goofy faces will go on Mommy's blog.  The joke is on you.