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Posts Tagged ‘mayhemian pursuits’

 
|| April 16, 2011 || 2:50 pm || Comments (4) ||

A big bowlful of cleaning rags
–On a Saturday afternoon–
Caught me singing and daydreaming about
Who we once were:
I watched you smile and take nothing for granted.
You watched me birth our son.
Confidences were sowed, blessed to root.
There was growing up to be done,
There was striving to be done,
There was a level peace to be had.
God the Holy Spirited Baby Jesus
Was in all of that somewhere, burbling,
Laughing,
Shaking the rafters with angels stomping.
Ohhh, the banjo twanging! and great
Streams of electric guitaring! and the
Low-moan wail of the kudzu souls gone on.
A four-cornered jubilee of just
living
admiring
pulling
soothing
challenging
endless indoor campout.
You, and me, and three, and that’s what.
That’s every bit of what.

 
|| November 21, 2010 || 8:41 pm || Comments (32) ||

Alright all ye of the proud clan of Muffinassery, it’s time once again to slap a hook on something wondrous or heinous, call it a Christmas tree ornament, and send it to a complete stranger.

It’s pretty simple. You tell me you want to participate. You purchase or make an ornament. I pair you with a swap partner. You get your ornament in the post to your swap partner by the deadline (which, by the way, is a generous 11 December this year).

For those of you that are all, “I AM ANONYMOUS ON THESE HERE INTERNETS! I AIM TO STAY ANONYMOUS! (I never get to have any of the funs! pout-pout)” I say in return, “Nay children, thou must nottest worry thine delicately-scented little noggins.” This is because you have two options. Option The One says that I will not match your online persona to your realpersons name. The e-mail will say something along the lines of, ‘Your swap partner is Jeremiah Downtrodden. Here is his address.’ If Jeremiah Downtrodden wants to tell you that he actually goes by the name Dooce on the internet, that’s his privilege, but that information will not come from me. Option The Two says that you can just mail your ornament to me and I will remove all traces of your address from the packaging and forward it on to your swap partner with my address on it instead. I did both things last year; option one was just automatic, and option two was opt-in. A couple of people utilized it, and can tell you that they are still safely ensconced in their secret lairs and no one from the big ole messy internets has showed up to fuck up their day because of me.

Now for the fine print:

I’m limiting this year’s swap to no more than forty people. I will tell you that I put out the call on Twitter a couple weeks ago and about half those spots are already filled, so you need to speak up pretty quickly if you want to be included. I’m putting all the names in the hat next weekend sometime, so I’d like to close the call for participants this coming Wednesday night.

As stated above, you either make or buy your ornament. I myself prefer handmade ones because oh, I dunno, you may end up with something like velvet squids (!), which is what I got last year. Leading up to the velvet squids, however, I got a series of texts from the spouse of the velvet squid maker, and some of them went like this:
“Ummmm….Jenna wants to know if all the materials expended in the attempt can be counted toward the twenty dollars.”
“Hey, do you have a blind person that you can pair Jenna with?”
….which made said squids all the more awesome when I just so happened to draw Jenna’s name as my sender.

Whether handmade or purchased, your ornament must have a retail value of no less than seven dollars and no more than twenty dollars. This means that if you choose to make an ornament, you would charge at least seven dollars for it were you to sell it on the open market. I would never have thought to place a minimum value on this, except that one time I was involved in an ornament swap wherein I purchased this gorgeous enameled egg and made this elaborate padded storage box replete with delicate bird’s nest atop it because I was so excited at the notion of surprising a complete stranger. AND, (here is the part where I sound like an ungrateful git, but I give not a fuck, because it was completely janky of someone to do this to anyone, not just me) in return I got a regular old manila envelope with a ninety-seven cent stuffed snowman ornament from Wal-Mart (I know this because I had seen them there that year) that looked for all intents and purposes like a dog’s chew toy. WOE, all you folk, just WOE. So, to level the playing field: Seven to twenty bucks. The point, really, is just to bless someone, to hit them with the element of surprise between now and December 11th.

If you’re on the fence about wanting to jump into something like this, I need to point you to Bejewell’s furiously hilarious post about last year’s swap. That ornament exchange  was the test run, the one where I didn’t know if I’d make it an annual thing or not. Bejewell is a lot of the reason that I decided to do this thing again. This year, Beej and people like her are participating. There is no finer selling point for and an endeavor than to have spirited, silly persons involved. If you want to join us, then drop a brief message (“I’m in!!”) into the comments on this post. Don’t forget to fill in your e-mail addy. You’ll hear from me with specifics in the next week.

 
|| August 12, 2010 || 12:18 pm || Comments (7) ||

So Tess and I set off to go to the Million-Mile Yardsale this past weekend. It’s not really a million miles long (I don’t think? Wait. Is it?), but it’s just more fun to say ‘Million-Mile Yardsale’ than ‘World’s Longest Yardsale‘. Not only does it sound more adventurous, but the former just flows a little better than the latter.  There were some twists and turns and off-track moments –as there always are when the two of us head out adventuring together– before we finally hammered down onto the trail and Made Shit Happen. Once we reached that point, though, we found ourselves miles and miles from civilization, swooping around the winding turns of curvaceous and lovely Lookout Mountain. The sale stops on the mountain portion of the trail were few and far between, but we’d find large clusters of folk hunkered down in spacious yards. Think pig roast. Think family reunion. Think flea market. Now throw all these thoughts in a Mason Jar and shake the shit out of them, jumble them up real good. Serve them over a bed of hundred-and-five degree humidity. The result sort of touches on what was going on.

At one stop we found no menfolk, only a passel of women huddled under a metal carport. There were about five older women (early fifties, perhaps?) a couple of younger twentysomethings and a girl of about twelve. They greeted us warmly and immediately enveloped us in conversation. It was clear from their appearance that they were Holiness Church, which is not uncommon either on our mountain or the one on which we happened to be wandering. I’ve found an illustration for those of you not familiar with the why of how we were able to immediately peg these laydehs as those of the Holiness persuasion.

:: holiness laydehs, a representative example for educational purposes only ::

Except, this illustration isn’t exact. The Holiness Laydehs we encountered that day looked 42% more matronly, 18% less colorful and 23% more dowdy than these do, as is typical for our region. But, to the plus side, they were every bit as sweet and pleasant as these laydehs appear to be, only with poofier hair. That’s another thing: Where their hair is concerned, Holiness women in these parts tend to have eighties bangs, a poof factor of seven or a combination thereof. It’s a complex and exact science, this hair, but I’m hesitant to explore its nuances further for fear that I might find myself  in a tea length dress with a sailor collar, forsaking my collection of lipsticks.

I would also miss my collection of tequila.

We browsed around, engaged with the group, talking merrily. Tess started having a spastic reaction to the fact that she found a pair of purple platform stilettos in a bin. They were pristine, these heels, showing no signs whatsoever of having been worn.

“These are a dollar! They’re my size!” Dance-dance-dance, squee-squee-squee. The incongruity of finding a pair of bright purple stripper heels in the middle of a half-dozen extremely conservative old-school women was not lost on us, but it wasn’t a huge surprise, either. We specialize in the incongruous, in the inexplicable and unlikely.  The laydehs were tickled at her delight, clapping and encouraging her to purchase something that they’d never in a million years wear themselves. We continued conversing and turned to the subject of our earlier difficulty in finding the trail head out of Chattanooga;  they assured Tess and me that we weren’t the only people that had problems with the directions that were posted on the internet. In fact, about eighty percent of their customers had.

Now, at times I express frustration with physicality. This used to mean a good face- or wall-punching, but I’ve upgraded to the class of anger that just means I go all flaily sometimes when I’m peeved about something whose ridiculousness can’t be encapsulated in words. Having healthy dollops of Irish and Italian running around in my veins doesn’t help this, either. I’m predisposed to gestures, you see.  So I started being flaily and Tess started getting tickled at me and of course flailing sometimes unlocks my verbiage so before you know it I was saying, “Well, that website sure didn’t know what the hell it was talking about…..”

Then I heard the screech of brakes in my brain and saw Tess stiffen ever so slightly.

WELL, JUST GREAT. I’ve let a swear word slip, totally betraying my polite raising. I’m obnoxious, but pretty respectful overall, and  I know how cusses –especially from females– are like a slap in the face in the Holiness community. And also there is the issue that,  while  it was only ‘hell’, my tongue is a  wily dipped-in-cusses thing and something like ‘Jesus, FUCK!’ is likely to come down the chute at any second and with no notice whatsoever. One can only imagine how such a monumental swear, said in the presence of  seven genteel, buttery-sweet Holiness Laydehs (and one twelve-year-old Holiness Laydeh in training)  might be received and/or dealt with.

(reader: please put on your swirly hat of vivid imagination; fire it up and let it go to work for the duration of this conversation)

“Dear, it is not nice to say ‘Jesus, FUCK!’ in polite company. Or in crass company, for that matter. Please accompany us to the backyard, where we will serve you warm cookies. Then we will shove you into the Specially Anointed Hole that we’ve dug for all Heatherns. Mkay?”

“What kind of cookies, ma’am?”

“Chocolate chip. With walnuts.”

“Well then: Mkay.” I’m not getting lured into any heathen-hole by something with raisins in it, der.

(you may now remove swirly hat of vivid imagination)

Two days later, it occurred to me how such incongruous shoes came to be in such self-consciously conservative hands. We were at the office when I shared my theory with Tess.

“Hey Tessa Rae, I reckon I know how those ladies came by those shoes.”

“Oh yeah?”

“What happened, see, is that some sixteen-year-old girl went shoe shopping without her momma in tow. Truckin’ down the mountain into the biggish city and all that.” Here Tess nodded and half-grinned, getting the gist of where I was heading with this.

“She wags home purple stripper heels, her doe eyes all starry, imagining how damn fancy and fine she looks in them. She dances them out for her momma, who inhales in the sharp, jangly way one does when their sensibilities have been backhanded with a fair deal of force. Momma’s face turns a shade that is complimentary to the offending shoes; she promptly forbids them.”

Tessa swept right in. “And those dang shoes go straight into the yardsale pile, to be snapped up by a Lesser Being at a later date.”

“Exactly right. Because if those shoes go back to the store? And the money goes back into pocketbook like nothing ever happened? Then what lesson will’ve been learned?”

We nodded sagely, agreeing with one another and with what must surely be the only scenario to a pair of brand-new, pristine-soled purple stripper pumps being procured for a buck from seven Holiness ladies high atop Mount Middle Of Nowhere.

There are a couple of morals to this story. One is that we may often get lost, but in the process of doing so we make great finds. Another is that Tess might just be a Lesser Being, but she’s the Lesser Being with amazing legs that end in fabulous, bargain-priced purple shoes.

 
|| July 25, 2010 || 12:18 am || Comments (2) ||

Confessions about this video:

! I would like, in the case of my demise,  this played on a loop somewhere in the funeral home. Yes, you read me right….fuck that typical gooey, sentimental photo montage of things like the Bad Shmullet Phase and The First Oreo To Have Obliterated Itself Against My Facemeat. Oh, and the visit to that unfortunate town where someone took those unfortunate photos in that unfortunate hotel. Whoops!

It’d be like I was Rickrolling everyone who showed up, but with the Sesame Street cast.

!! Bonus on the above if my demise (most probably untimely) was somehow alcohol-related, me being sent home to Jesus with tequila on my breath and this song on my lips. This has to be a winner as a drunksong. I mean, COME ON!

When I find I can’t remember
What comes after
“A” and before “C,”

Doesn’t that scream, ‘Welcome to my big drunk-drunkety drunkation of drunktacity. Please be seated and witness the gol-danged show, bitches!’ to you too?

!!! In the second verse, I always sing ‘big’ and ‘bad’ instead of ‘big’ and ‘bird’ because I maybe believe you have to speak your place into this world and then step into it. I gotta get back to you on this one.

!!!! I should be more careful about looking too hard at these lyrics. Some of them are somewhat creepy if you take even a moment to consider them:

Letter B, letter B, letter B, letter B.
My mother whispers “B” words,
Letter B.

Letter B, letter B, letter B, letter B.
My mother whispers “B” words,
Letter B.

In fact, upon further review, the third line to the second verse (‘Ball’ and ‘bat’ and ‘battery’)  looks like a masochist’s wet dream.

!!!!! Big Bird really gives me the heebs, sweet Muffinasses. Maybe that’s a wee part of the reason that I won’t sing ‘big’ and ‘bird’ . Well, that and just the act of singing ‘big’ and ‘bad’ (but not like that….when you sing it, you have to be all ‘big and bad’, one solid phrase) makes you feel a little more big and bad than you did before. Lord knows I’m all about empowerment.

 
|| February 23, 2003 || 1:19 am || Comments (1) ||

Not going to New Jersey isn’t procrastinating, it’s common sense.” ~Igby

From the “Hello, Live With This” section of the memory banks:

Hangin’ out on a summer night. New Jersey, straight off a loud, punk-tinged musical high. Muggy, low-key drunken revelry. Street corner parties have their plusses, a soft parade of city lights and interactivity with the community being two of them.

Some of the boys, all braced and laced and overtough, were passing a bottle of Night Train amongst them. To say most Skins have a death wish is doing them a great verbal disservice.

I, given my predilection for suspecting that more people than not have some form of cooties (or, The Cooties, as they are referred to in presence of royalty and highsoc types, real or imagined), was sipping on my very own bottle of Absolut Citron (vodka gimlet without the prissy glass, yo), palming it in fine, unsophisticated fashion.

A junkie on the curb, kit being employed for the God-knows-how-manyeth time that day, about fifteen feet away: It was only three ay emm and he was already rockin’. We were paying no attention to him until he shot the words lazily into the air.

“Whatcha drinkin’ over there?” He was all tied off, head bent to the task at an angle that allowed a green cast to come over his face. Neon dermatitis.

Bemused, where hours back and sober he would’ve told the junkie to get the fuck off his street and maybe worse, Cooper laughed and called out, “Night Train, man. You wanna swig?”

The junkie, watery-eyed and sinking the steel, said, “No way.” And as he deftly did the push, he jabbed at irony and changed Coop’s beverage of choice for a lifetime.

That shit’ll kill ya.”

 
|| September 16, 2000 || 3:50 pm || Comments (0) ||

All day today there have been people running around in the woods surrounding my humble abode shooting off what sounds like some large weaponry. Please consider the following:

  • I have no problem with people running around in the woods.
  • I have no problem with people popping off rounds from weaponry of any sort, large OR small.
  • The problem comes in when they do either (most especially BOTH) in close proximity to my home. ESPECIALLY when it is done all fucking day.

    Surely they don’t want me to pull out my large weaponry and come looking for them. Surely. They. Don’t. ///MORE LATER…///

     

    Hooray, hooray!!! Michael is coming to bounce some stuff around tonight! I smell fresh gigs, boys and girls…