Pain, Therapy and Lapin Gardening

So my cousin has posted an ultrasound of her baby on social networking sites. I hate when people do that. First of all it’s icky. Second of all it’s yucky. Third of all it’s tacky. My cousins keep doing this too, as if I want to see the strange sea creature/squirrel shaped parasites invading their abdomens.

Anyway, this ultrasound is really early. So early that it’s mostly space and just this tiny bean you kinda have to look for. There are a million people ‘oohing and aaahing’ in the comments, but I’m terribly tempted to ask her if she’s sure it’s not just a big fart. Trapped gas man, it’s a bitch.

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Okay, so I’m in a fabulous mood, as if you can’t tell. I’m snarky and sarcastic because I’m in an exorbitant amount of pain and there isn’t really anything I can do about it. I can’t even sleep (it’s nearly three a.m.). It’s been about ten months of this, and after numerous tests and one serious week in November where the doctors told me to brace myself for cancer, all they can come up with are shrugs and theories: another mass, a random tiny hernia, or muscle damage. The only way to really tell one way or the other or to do anything about it is to have an exploratory surgery. Now I’m sorry, but I don’t want random surgery. I have many reasons for this, the most significant of which is I’m convinced that the surgeon will come up with nothing or with more shrugs and I will have endured all of this for nothing. Not to mention that the doctors will stop taking my complaining about the pain seriously.

This means that until I decide to do the surgery, or my insides explode, or this stuff takes some kind of turn, every few days I will experience different levels of pain in that area. Tonight (or this morning, rather), I’m hurting badly. I took a pill for the pain but it hasn’t even taken the edge off. So not worth it. It’s bad enough that I’ve been taken to the ER twice and both times I was sent home with drugs and more shrugs. Rhymey.

On top of all of that, things haven’t been working out so well for me. I’m completely skint, unemployed, and frankly unemployable at this point. Plus all of this other stuff is weighing on me. I wrote this long blag post (a two-parter!) about what’s been going on, but it’s so terribly personal that I’ve not posted it. Yet. There is always the possibility that I may egg up, especially when one considers I’ve not a lot of followers and only a few of those actually read my posts and only two or three of those actually know me. It’s basically about how I’ve taken up therapy and how I have a colourful history of despising therapy and everything that goes along with it, and why.

As for this therapy thing, I’m fairly certain that I’m failing at it. Seriously, I think that maybe I’m doing it wrong. I don’t really talk about anything, and I don’t know what I’m supposed to talk about. And I talk to the therapist about her problems too. I know there’s this period of time in the early days (which is where I’m at) where you talk to your therapist about stuff just so she can learn about you and know what you’re on about (to discover and exploit your weaknesses). But I am still rather unsure.

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And in banal life stuffs, I grew lots of seedlings and plants for my garden, spent two days with Thunderball excavating and ravaging the very Earth, only to have this random apocalyptic downpour today eviscerate all our hard work. After all that, only about three plants of the hundreds we planted are still standing. I feel like the Charlie Brown of gardeners. Everything I touch get’s ruined.

But something exciting and interesting did occur in gardening. Our garden patch is about four feet by twenty feet. So in the soil turning and weeding phase on Saturday, Thunderball took one end and I the other and we worked our way towards the middle. About four feet in Thunderball suddenly stops her violent assault on the land and says “Uh, what is this?” She tosses over a wad of fluffy white fur, so naturally I ask: “Is something dead?” So she pokes at the spot with the garden fork and receives a terrified tiny squeal from the pile of furry earth. After she jumped away, we inspected the spot and discovered:

Bunny Seeds Germinated June 7 2014 01

Thunderball took this sessee shot.

Yes. That’s right. Babies. There were five or six tiny baby bunnies in there, all blind to the world. So now it’s like FUCK, we’re a mommy. So we’ve cordoned off that section of our garden (which will be devoted strictly to sunflowers), and recovered the nest we’d uncovered with an upturned bin. I keep periodically paranoiacally checking up on them, as I now feel responsible for having inadvertently uncovered their crèche, basically erecting the equivalent of a flashing neon arrow pointing right at them (hence the protective covering). Two days after finding them, I checked on them again only to find they were even closer to the surface with even less stuff covering them. I was amazed at how much they’d developed in only two days. They went from being blind and dark furred to being larger, open-eyed and more active and alert (although, clearly still too tiny to be on their own). Their little ears are still flat against their heads. According to some wildlife experts that means they are around 5-7 days old now.

I was so upset at seeing them almost completely exposed that I did some research to see if there was something else that we should have done or should be doing. But the wildlife rescue experts say that I did exactly the right thing, covering them back up and putting the bin over them. Now we just have to hope that they survive to adulthood despite living in a backyard that is full of raccoons and skunks and cats (That Cat and That Other Cat have both been sighted recently), not to mention our dog.

Plus they are so adorable one wants to take them in and love them forever (or at least until they reach their forever), but every wildlife place is like NO YOU CANNOT KEEP THEM. Shut up! You can’t tell me what to do! I am a paranoid mama bunny, hopped up on painkillers and out for blood! I do what I want!

“There is love in holding. And there is love in letting go.” – Elizabeth Berg, The Year of Pleasures

And there is love in mauling a Animal Control officer. Just saying.

 

 

An Embarrassing Comment On Lou Reed and a Thank You

IMG_4892a

Everybody who is anybody is writing about Lou Reed right now, and as I’m nobody this seems a nonstarter right off the bat. But here it is.

When I was growing up I was inundated with an amazing spectrum of music: My father was uncharacteristically eclectic listening to everything from the Beatles and CSNY to Miles Davis and Johnny Cash. My grandparents loved the standards. I was training to be a classical musician and had a lot of that going on. My mom was a sucker for Neil Diamond, Phoebe Snow and ‘80’s pop. My cousins were musicians into punk and metal and Sonic Youth.

But my favorite of them all was David Bowie.

From the beginning and in a very unhealthy way, too. When I was three or four I had a five alarm tantrum when my folks went to see him in concert and THEY DIDN’T TAKE ME. I had this insane dream that he would adopt me and take me to New York where I would hang out with all of his cool friends and sing and make art. And that was when I was still in single digits.

Someone eventually, probably my dad, started introducing me to those cool friends: Iggy Pop and Lou Reed and Brian Eno. And I loved them too, but I hadn’t the… agency I guess to pursue this music myself.

But when I was in junior high my life was shitty and I was lonely and all I wanted to do was my art and play music and lock myself in a room with paints and a needle and thread and try not to exist. I went to all the local museums and to the libraries and checked out all the art books. I went and taped all the free records from the library. Among them was Lou Reeds’ Transformer. I would put the new tapes in and let them play through and move on to the next, deciding what got kept and what got taped over. But that one…

I wore Transformer out. I had to check it out from the library again, tape it again. See, I hadn’t had any money of my own to buy it (things were complicated) and I had not yet become the teenage PR ne’er do well who hung out at Fort Apache and went to parties with AFP. There was no interwebs to scope out music on and my few friends weren’t nearly as learned about these things as I, so I was stuck with what I could find when I found it.

To say that this album was influential would be an understatement. If David Bowie was the key, then Lou Reed was the doorman, because he opened wide a world of music that I didn’t know existed. I went through all of his albums, which led to the Velvet Underground (of course) and to Nico. Which led back to Jackson Browne (a favorite of my dad’s) and around to Patti Smith, Wire and the New York Dolls. Which led to Suicide and Magazine. Grace Jones and Laurie Anderson. It even somehow led me to Throwing Muses, my favorite band of all time. (Throwing Muses, in their own right would change my life. But that’s another story).

On top of all that Lou was endlessly cool. I could never see him living some weird glamorous rock star life. I imagined him walking after dark in his leather jacket with a cigarette. Sporting shades. And I would look in my art books and he was there. He was a photographer. Just like me. And his music was unreal – painfully simple and infinitely complex, all at once. And his words were poems, stories, rants, narratives. He created worlds in his songs where you can smell the blood and the wet pavement and see the dealers and feel the love for the junkies and prostitutes and punks that lurked around every corner. He took me to the city where I no longer was and most wished to be. Best of all it was completely unapologetic. He could screech or drone monotonous and have six minute pseudo pop songs because fuck you this is art.

I wanted to meet him. I wanted him to be my friend. I wanted to show him my stuff. I wanted to thank him for being him. I wanted to call him Uncle Lou.

And I did. Every time I put on an album or cassette or CD, I would say “time for Uncle Lou”. Every time I saw him in an interview or on teevee or in a book “hey look – it’s Uncle Lou”. Somehow I felt like, as an artist, whatever I did in life somewhere out there I had an Uncle Lou.

And that was my big mistake I think. Because when this happens, when someone that great comes along and changes everything for you, you make them immortal in your mind. And in a way they are immortal – as is the nature of art. But that’s what’s so dangerous about this thinking, because they are really just people, and they get old and they get sick and they have accidents or they get murdered and in the end they die. We all do.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when, on Sunday, at the worst possible moment of an inexplicably bad day (seriously, if I wrote about it here the WTF chorus would be stunned mute), my dad told me that Lou Reed had died. He was human, after all. But I was. The air was sucked out of my lungs, and it was all I could do the exit the building, don my shades and get in the car before the tears overcame me.

Lou’s music is always somewhere in my head and at the tip of my tongue, and in a way that I didn’t really realize or think about until Sunday.

In the soundtrack to my life he was a major presence. He was there for every major phase, stage and disappointment. I learned to drive listening to a compilation tape of every Velvet Underground song I could squeeze onto a super 120 cassette. When I printed photos in the lab it was also to the Velvet Underground. The time I was nearly locked in the wet room it was my singing ‘Satellite of Love’ that saved me. Me and dad on the T going home from a Bosstones show where I got sick before the main act – he was singing ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ to cheer me up. Hot water at the Tasty, after midnight in the Pit, the 77 bus to Arlington Heights, waiting in our seats at the Orpheum Theater, trapped in a Central Square parking garage, sitting alone on the floor of my bedroom – my memories are a Lou Reed mix tape.

And I know I can say the same thing about Bowie and Kristin Hersh and David Byrne and so many others. But none of them are or ever will be my Uncle Lou.

I never got to thank him. So I’m going to do that now. Thank you.

Halloween and Fat Death of the Endless

Things have been sort of strange and slow on my bit of planet, what with all the cleaning, illness, the holidays, and my recent realization that maybe I’m actually Atlantean, and not alien, as I had originally suspected (or both – maybe my people didn’t disappear into the sea, maybe they just left). So I think maybe now is as good a time as any to back track to Halloween; a time of triumph or trial, depending on how you look at it. Either way, there is always lasagna, spontaneous candy checks (can’t let the little ones fall victim to poisons and razor blades, can we?), and at least one great ape. Occasionally there are film festivals (your Plan 9 From Outer Space, your Nosferatu, your Mommie Dearest, your Jason-on-a-boat) or Addams Family marathons. But every year it’s a little fun or at the very least interesting.

Traditionally Halloween is also a holiday for gorillas. One, rather, who sits in a lawn chair in my front garden distributing candy and bananas to the youth of my neighborhood. Occasionally there are two gorillas as Thunderball is often wont to sport the spare gorilla suit and tear around the yard doing the finest ape impression. (This is something not relegated to Halloween.) Last year there was even a fog machine, and so there were Gorillas in the Mist. The gorilla is pretty much the biggest attraction in our area (outside of my ridiculous dog, but that’s something else entirely), and people come from far and wide, driving miles even, just to see him. Families who have moved away return for this one night, and there are those who have had a picture taken with him every year (some since infancy). You’d also be surprised and a little proud by how many children go for the banana over the candy.  Perhaps there is hope for the American youth yet.

This year Thunderball and I were manning the door alone as ‘Superstorm Sandy’ rescheduled my aunt’s wake, and BB went to represent. Every year we get dressed up and mess around with the neighborhood kids. Last year we had two Halloweens (New England is a fickle place) and so Thunderball was Marceline the Vampire Queen as well as a gorilla and I painted my face and sported wings (make of that what you will). A few years before she was a witch, I wore a Christopher Walken mask and together with BB the gorilla we danced to “Thriller” on our lawn accompanied by a dozen or so neighborhood kids. It was epic. This year Thunderball showed up to my house about three hours before go-time determined to make a Brolaire of Astora costume – from scratch. So we hopped into the spaceship and sped to the nearest craft store with an idea and a ridiculous deadline.

During the ride over she and I discussed my recent trend of weird dreams about my teendom. I suspect this trend had a great deal to do with a recent meeting with escapist Sean Von Gorman, who unfortunately got some of my word vomit on his shoes, and heard a bit about my escapades. I get anxious telling these stories to people because I worry that I may sound as if I’m lying or crazy; because strange things do need explanation – if not context. Hence stress dreaming about my old comrades and exploits.

The dreams (and the vomit) lead to my writing an epic blog entry about my youth, which lead to me spending a day exhausting myself on ‘paper’ only to scrap the whole thing and back slowly away from the computer. I told some of the stories to Thunderball (who may or may not have heard them already), like about the time I was at a party and was accused of being homophobic (me with the hag DNA, of all people) when I pointed out that all the young gay men in New England (at the time) were named Mike, and so I yelled “Hey Mike!” into the crowd and pretty much every gay dude answered me, thus proving my point. I was trying to explain to her that it was a lot harder to write about that stuff (my strange employment, the random people I was acquainted with, my complicated friendships and home life) than I thought it would be. It’s strange to think that you are so far removed from your past, only to find that really you aren’t or to realize how much you miss parts of it, and just which parts those are.

So for those reasons I am not posting what I wrote anytime soon. In the future I’m sure I’ll regale everyone with random tales of drag queens, street art, AFP, Fort Apache, Rivers Cuomo, home invasions and the like, but for now the dreams have stopped and have returned to the normal vivid nightmares with excellent soundtracks (these days I dream in Grizzly Bear) that I’ve grown accustomed to.

At the store it was like old times in art school: budget shopping; being as creative as possible with as little purchasing as possible, brainstorming insanity that just may work. In just a few minutes we had a gameplan and had freaked out half the store- and as many scrappin’ moms as were in attendance – with our whirlwind savvy. (Whilst oohing and aaahing over new Martha Stewart tools a scrappin’ mom pointed out that she – Martha – was ‘moving up from Walmart’ and I pointed out that it’s high time that Martha joined Thunderball, Anthony – Tony – Bourdain and myself for a night of drinking, ‘cause we all know how Martha can put it away, and oh what a night that will be. Which just served to set Thunderball off in the same vein, as this has been a plan of ours – to get our drink on with Tony and Martha – for ages and we’re really excited about it. We have big plans, people, and this will happen. Oh yes, this will happen. You can imagine how well that entire outburst went over with scrappin’ mom, who hightailed it out of there first chance she got. )

Yeah, if the helm fits...

Yeah, if the helm fits…

Back at the hacienda, we proceeded to assemble a suit of armor from cardboard, duct tape and magic. It was amazing. And beautiful.

Art school pays off.

With Adventure Time and Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog for a soundtrack, we literally worked right up until zero hour, whipping up this outfit like two nerds who forgot that today was Comicon.

Brolaire of Astora

Brolaire of Astora

I didn’t even have a chance to suit up myself, so I left Brolaire of Astora to greet the first of the kiddies as I perfected my look: Fat Death of the Endless (because I rule). I was much pleased by the new makeup – which held up all night unlike the glop from the beta test that smudged and spread and bled.  I donned the Generalissimos’ hat (to cover the bald) and joined Brolaire and my dog at a table we’d set up with Coleman lanterns (we have no outside electrics due to the giant crater that is half my house) and candy bowls. We also had a six pack of Sunny D – part of Brolaire’s costume and a prize to any trick-or-treater who could properly identify our costumes.

My house was bombed with sugar crazed masses seeking giant gorilla glory. We had to tell them that the gorilla escaped his enclosure during ‘Superstorm Sandy’, stealing my wallet and all of the bananas before hopping on a bus out of town. While the kids were all disappointed at least our story was believable. Hurricane Sandy had been a complete betch throwing a wrench into many plans and lives in the last week.  They all agreed to keep an eye out for him, and to report back with any information.  I felt really bad for a few of them though, especially the little kid who showed up in a full gorilla suit. I think he was hoping for a replay of last year, where he could have run free through the fog with Thunderball.

The brave steed, looking for reassuring hugs between candy goblins.

The brave steed, looking for reassuring hugs between candy goblins.

Most people got over the absence of the gorilla upon seeing that my dog was present. He is a local celebrity after all, even if he did try to hide behind Brolaire every time someone came in the yard and then demanded huggings and pettings after every encounter. I don’t know what it is about him, maybe his ridiculous height – he is very tall for a greyhound – or his clownish nature, but everyone in town LOVES my dog. Seriously – one time he was six miles down the road, going for a car ride with his head out a window when a bunch of kids on bikes shouted his name. He’s a frikkin rock star. And he’s not the only dog on the street either.  So everyone was so glad to see him and pet him ‘up close’ and tell me a story about the time he ‘got out’ – the most epic twenty minutes in small town history, apparently. Everybody in the neighborhood has a story from that day. One family tells of how he played with their kids in their yard. A mother with a toddler recalled walking the baby in the stroller and his accompanying them around the block. He saved a family from a burning house, delivered a baby and rescued a kitten from a tree. All I know is, the second we realized he got out (something that never happens and I’ll discuss why at another time) half the neighborhood formed a search party. People I have never met in all my years living here got in on the action to find my neurotic greyhound, who was out gallivanting and helping little girls sell lemonade.

As the night wore on we were quickly running out of candy but remained well-stocked on Sunny D. A lot of people tried, mostly guessing that Thunderball was someone from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (got to hand it to my neighbors on that one), and one precious little kid (had to be maybe three) did manage to finagle a juice as he assured us he was really thirsty and just wanted to go home. Costume-wise I am happy to report the absolute lack of zombies, which I’ve previously stated are the Disney Princess of costumes these days. I was sure we’d see dozens of those. Rather, I was shocked to see a surprising number of Mario Brothers, especially Mario. Am not sure what that was all about, but it was a trend I did not see coming.

In the end we were down to a handful of candy when a bunch of high schoolers in some decent getups show up. They were accompanying a young man who lives a few houses from me who is mentally handicapped. He was upset when I told him he couldn’t take all of the candy that was left, in case we got any more late comers. So he got sneaky and replaced our remaining candy bars with candy from his bag that he didn’t like. Touché, kid. The rest of the group was preoccupied with scoring Sunny D from Brolaire, and failing miserably. One of them, a guy in drag, was particularly endearing. He was in a miniskirt and boots with bad makeup and a big blonde wig, all giving him the effect of a drag queen who just woke up in an alley behind a dumpster. I asked him if his name was Mike. Thunderball nearly lost her shit (epic spit take ensued).

As we were closing up for the night, folding up the table and chair, gathering lanterns, my neighbor came over walking his dog. (Of course my dog is asleep back in the house when his girlfriend comes over). He isn’t looking for candy. He’s come specifically to ask if Thunderball is a Sun Bro. She almost keeled with joy. He tells us that he saw us from his candy distributing station at his house across the street and was dying to ask but his wife wouldn’t let him come over.  So when the kids stopped coming he snuck over under the guise of walking their dog. It was awesome. Much Sunny D was shared, the Sun Be Praised.

Praise the Sun

Praise the Sun

So I guess it was a successful night. Lots of diabeetus was encouraged, much praise was given the sun, and my dog continued his work as Ambassador to the Neighborhood. Plus, Thunderballs’ night was made, so that was good enough for me.

Oh, and here they are, the last pictures of me to appear on the interwebs.

It's all about the angles, baby.

It’s all about the angles, baby.

Not so bad for someone with so many chins. It’s all about the angles people. Awww yeah.

Fat Death

Fat Death

The BFF Turns 6, Death of the Endless Beta Test and It’s the Candy

Note its evil and succulent goodness.

On October 6th Thunderball and I went to my BFF’s 6th birthday party in full regalia. Full regalia being Thunderball as a Sith Lord (Darth Marv) and my beta test of Death of the Endless. I would say it was a rousing success, if it weren’t for the worlds shittiest makeup, which ran and smeared and spread everywhere. So by the time we arrived at the party we were fairly upset and more than a tad runny, but everyone seemed rather impressed nonetheless.

Captains Spaceship like no other.

The ride over was fabulous. This small New England town full of people walking around on the first clear day in weeks, with children or pets, were completely oblivious to the two fully made up folks in the spaceship nudging their way through slow traffic. I do not know if it is saying something about the obliviousness of my neighbors or just that they’re used to seeing that sort of thing drive through town. Once we hit highway, however, it suddenly became an issue of not causing accidents, as suddenly everybody noticed us.

When we got there, the BFF greeted us with a COMPLETE identification verification (I think we may have been swabbed for DNA), because of course our faces were covered, so we could be imposters. (Who knows? Right now, I don’t even know. How the frell did I get here anyway?) The party itself was alright, though compared to the previous year it was a bust. BFF was so bummed he wouldn’t don his costume. But the gorilla showed, and he got lots of candy apples and loot, so he was happy there. About a third of the guests – mostly musical metalheads in nature – failed to show, and they were supposed to jam with Thomas for his birthday. Hence his disappointment. It should probably be explained that Thomas’ father was a legendary musician who passed away last year, just before Thomas’ 5th birthday. Sufficed to say a lot of promises were made, and a lot of people who came and jammed last year failed to show this year (even after RSVPing and assuring everyone that they would). It is more than likely that over time these supposed friends will fail to even RSVP or bother to make excuses to come to anything in the future. It’s sad, really. Promises are so easily broken and forgotten.

Black Magic, betches.

The night before, Thunderball and I made the mad candy confections for the little bugger: poisoned candy apples and skull lollies. In addition, we made caramels, caramel apples (with so much added naughtiness), and basil lollies made from our own deadly basil plants. (We also used the basil to candy some fresh strawberries.) Thunderball and I in a kitchen are a force to be reckoned with, a well oiled gourmet machine. When it comes to confections we generally impress the masses with our ridonculousness. Our Christmas cookies, for example, have been known to cause riots. Our lemon-buttercream cupcakes are obscene. So you can imagine when it came time to make the BFF some snackies, we pulled out all of the stops: Our apples were not only delicious, they were infused with darkness from the Old Ones. Our lollies were so wicked they appeared to be one color, yet THEY MADE YOUR TONGUE AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT COLOR when you licked them. That’s right. We bewitched that shit.  Snow White’s wicked stepmama has nothing on us.

Napalm Death

Though we have been known to whip up everything from handmade pasta to French toast popcorn (or rice cakes), we find candy is especially fun to make as it is so very lethal. If you are looking at our glorious evil confections and getting grandiose ideas that you too can be a sugar alchemist, please take note: candy is not to be trifled with. You don’t fuck with burnt sugar. That shit is NAPALM, yo.

About halfway through the party Thunderball and I wiped the smeared, blobby goop off of our faces and tromped around in our gear. I transformed myself into the Generalissimo (the hat I had already been wearing to cover the bald) donning glasses and all, and at one point TB sported a full cowl Batman mask, and it was quite effective. We ate all of our gooey nom noms (despite Thomas’ Nana arguing that he can’t eat the candy due to his allergies, even as Thomas was EATING THE CANDY), and disappeared back into the night to watch Venture Bros. reruns. But not before stopping for gas at a crowded BJ’s first (me still as the Generalissimo, Thunderball still in full Sith garb, but now sporting Devil’s horns). It was pointed out that I must be one fucked up badass if the devil is my chauffer.

Note the black goop oozing down the sides of my neb.

In conclusion, I think my Death of the Endless costume Beta tested well. (Am finding it interesting how my pallor these days – as a vampire – is such that I don’t need any white goth base paint.) I will definitely get better makeup and reprise the character on All Hallow’s Eve.  Also, I think as a society we should do mundane things in fancy dress more often. Like every day. I think it would certainly make this place a lot less inane.

Look at it and taste the darkness.

In a brief side note, I hope everyone out there is planning on celebrating All Hallow’s Read this year. Candy is overplayed, unless it’s some I’ve made. Thank you.

Godspeed My Little Viking

“Harold the Viking went to Valhalla today. May Odin welcome you to his table, my fearless warrior.”

Harold the Viking. Fear him.

So it’s true: young Harold went forth to battle high in the hall of Odin yesterday. For those of you not in the know Harold the Viking won my heart and my sword on September 11th 2011, where, as a centerpiece at a friends wedding reception, he bested all other fish (and frankly all other flora and fauna) to win a place of honor on my bedroom dresser.

Harold was by far the angriest thing I have ever met   He tried to kill everything and everyone he ever saw ever. Especially BB. On more than one occasion he actually flew out of the water to try to kill BB. It is the general consensus that he wanted to stare his victim in the eye as he tore his heart out. He lived in a glass globe with marbles at the bottom, marbles that he would pick up and throw at night. So I would fall asleep to the constant plink plink plink of glass against glass, knowing that my bloodthirsty friend defended the rear (door) while I held the front (window) with my trusty ray gun at the ready.  (The same ray gun which he fought – and won – by the way, taking several blasts to the face with no negative effect. Well. He did get terribly angry, but that was expected.)

He hated Japanese fans, sub par feed and took strange comfort in yellow manila envelopes. He was the greatest, most vicious Viking that ever lived, wanting nothing more than to kill and mate (and then subsequently eat his young).  And he was purple to boot. So when I found his lifeless body yesterday I knew there was only one just method for laying such a warrior to rest.  I was trying to figure the logistics when Thunderball arrived, assessed the situation, and said “Viking Funeral.”

We lined the boat in manila envelopes and covered him in flowers before dousing with an incendiary and coating him in gun powder.

This is when you realize who your true friends are. The ones who look at your situation and not only think along the same lines as you, but help expedite and implement the means and methods necessary for your accomplishment – these are the ones you keep.  Thunderball saw our little dead Viking, and next thing I know we’ve got a little boat, gun powder, a pyre for a king, and are driving to the nearest body of water blaring Amon Amarth as the sky turns to dusk.  She set the little fish alight and even went into the water (in her shoes) to push his little boat back out to sea when it tried to wash ashore.  Thunderball we keep.

This is when you realize who your true friends are:  when you are standing on a beach watching someone happily light your dead fish on fire for you. That’s love right there, my friend. That’s love.

Little flaming vessel.

As we watched his little flaming vessel drift off into the night church bells rang. It was moving (creepy metal detector guy aside).  We threw a three snap salute, and solemnly walked back to the spaceship. We drove home, blasting Amon Amarth through the neighborhood yet again, and had a reception of pizza we made (from tomatoes and basil we grew) and hours of ‘80’s videos on YouTube.

I will miss you Harold the Viking. May your days of mirth, feast, and slaughter in Odin’s hallowed hall serve you well.

NOTE: The following evening, Harold the Viking’s entrance into the Norse afterlife of olde was confirmed as the earth shook and William (ancient, why-is-he-still-alive, bird) completely lost his shiz and spazzed all over the place.

Fracking, and Other Ways to Disturb the Neighbors

Frackers don’t get any cookies.

So mystery still ensues as to what the hell my neighbors have been up to. For those of you (that would be none of you as no one knows this blog exists), following along on my Twitter or FB, you’d have heard tell the saga of the upheaval caused by my neighbor doing mysterious shiz in his lawn.

To recap, I shall lazily repost my FB and Twitter ramblings, and perhaps expound from there:

DAY 1:
Landscapers put a giant machine across the front of my house this morning and keep running smaller machines across my driveway. Loud machines. They are going to the home of the neighbor across the way who obsessively seeds his lawn as if it’s a direct reflection of his male patterned baldness. I’m watching to see what they are doing exactly with these machines, as there is nothing there but lawn (and not a very big one). Whatever it is, they’ve been at it since 7 and it’s now 11:30 and it involves chains.

I thought maybe they were loudly hiding a body, but they don’t seem to be digging. I can see them and like I said it’s just lawn – not even stumps. It’s like they’re just going over the lawn. Maybe these are CSI heat/gas detection units disguised as landscaping noisemakers and they are trying to find a gas pocket of remains or something deep down. Either that or they’re trying to iron out his lawn, like he likes it flat or something. (He gets high, puts on Odetta and irons his lawn, man.) Or it’s making a giant comb over…

Or – oh no, maybe they’re fracking! O, sweet Glob no!

(I just went outside and yelled ‘Stop Fracking!’ at them. Just in case… They have stopped their machines. They look confused.)

Yeah. I’m thinking it’s fracking, now.

They’ve ramped up the noise considerably so I think they’re trying to frack faster before the environmental agents show up with lasers.

‎(Just screamed “Be louder!” at them, because I’m sure that there are decibel levels above this one just dying to be explored.)

It has been suggested that maybe it is not fracking, but in fact, neighborhood revenge for BB’s having ‘tested’ his PA system in the driveway yesterday afternoon. This ”testing’ involved turning the giant speakers up past eleven and staying inside the house shouting into it and then swearing because it “wasn’t working”. As the floors were rattling and the clock was nearly coming off the wall and the neighborhood dogs were all flipping the frell out, I had to ask the question “What exactly is it meant to do that it’s now not doing?”  BB replied with a string of swears and an attitude that implied that I was a hapless idiot. So he had ME speak into the mic in the kitchen while he went outside to ‘hear’ it. Hear it? Curiosity could hear it on Mars (consider that revenge for that Will.I.AM shet, bitch). So I spoke into the mic, telling my next door neighbors possibly psychotic German shepherd to relax, it was all going to be okay, and BB came back in grumbling that he ‘fixed it’. He then plugged his MP3 player into it and blared CSNY, the Shods and much of Elvis Costello’s classic My Aim Is True into the atmosphere until he was satisfied that it was working well enough to use at his office retreat where he would play the part of DJ on the beach.

While that was a plausible theory – that this was neighborly revenge (remember that? What we were originally ranting about? Like how I just went off there for a while ?), not so much that BB was a DJ – I strongly disagree and hold to the fracking theory. The seismic forces at work here were epic, and the ground rumbled to a point that made my feet hurt. There was a smell too, an unpleasant one: gaseous, nearly ozone in nature. Sort of an angry, oily, electrically burny smell. All of that, coupled with the fact that the neighbor in question is shifty, and I’m fairly certain a republican, further supports my fracking theory. I mean, the guy is a genuine douche. I live on a corner, and his house is on the street that runs parallel to my front door. Not only did he park in front of my house and block my driveway with his machines, he blocked off the street his house was on as well. So he made it so I couldn’t leave and no one on either street could leave either. Don’t you need a copper when you are gonna block a street off? Isn’t that just good manners in a civilized society?

This went on for some time, but I don’t know for how long, as around one I ended up escaping to a twisted doctor’s appointment and having an adventure that involved many people singing the “Soft Kitty” song at my mother, getting on the bad side of a phlebotomist, being snubbed by a lifelong family friend at the grocery, and picking up a rose bush named “Cocoa” from a perennial clearance sale at a local garden center and then trying to fit it into my mother’s Hyundai “Accent”.  That’s a tale for another time though.

DAY 2:

It happens again. Monkeys. No. The fracking. It started around six a.m. today. But that’s okay, I had already been awakened a half hour earlier by my neighbor revving his motorcycle over and over. By ten however, the foot buzzing rumbling is abandoned for an annoying drone that makes you really want to bang your head against a wall. Preferably a brick one.

“The frackers got the chains again. This could be fun if there wasn’t so much fracking involved. (It puts the lotion in the baaaasket.)”

“They have a little yappy dog and spare skin in their truck?”

“They may… THEY MAY. You can’t assume anything when dealing with the likes of Frackers.”

The chains clinking and clacking was just absurd. Plus they had parked the machine mover/carrier in front of my house again, and they were continuously getting a Bobcat machine up on it and then down off it again, it was like they couldn’t decide if they should use it or not.
I shouted at them some more, and all the men looked weary and skittish for the rest of the day.

So I figured there was only one thing to do: bake cookies. When they were done they were delicious (a tray of giant brownie fudge chunk and another of peanut butter blossoms) and I was shouting “See this? You can’t have any you fracking bastards!!!!” because I’m awesome and they had to know what they were up against.

I am still not sure what they were accomplishing over there. There’s a crunchy dirt mound where there wasn’t one before. BB had come home and spied at them with me (under the guise of watering the gardens and enjoying delicious cookies) and he has theorized that the big white vehicle was actually a secret refrigerated coroners vehicle, but I dunno. I don’t think the neighbor is cool enough to be moving a cemetery or hiding/unearthing bodies. But he still seems the fracking type.

I’ll post more in the week, and take a photo of his lawn as things unfold.