Graffiti

Graffiti is a kind word for artistic vandalism. And I love it. I don’t exactly know why, but I’ve always loved graffiti (well-done graffiti, that is). Hmm. Now I’m curious.

I’m attracted to rebellion.
I’m attracted to people and ideas that buck convention (so long as there’s logic behind it).
I’m attracted to art, especially avant-garde, industrial and/or urban art. Something about people making urban spaces their own, adding art and flavor and sometimes critical social commentary…I’m drawn to it. Statement pieces are my favorite.

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I have a love/hate relationship with cities. There’s a strange, unnatural beauty to modern cities: the way so many people are gathered and crammed into tight living spaces.  Shoulder to shoulder they walk the sidewalks and street crossings. And yet, they’re anonymous. You can walk through a throng of people, and no one even notices you. You’re just another unit of humanity in a faceless, nameless sea. There’s so much cultural variety, it’s thrilling and enriching. But it’s so fucking impersonal. Hence the love/hate. It’s unnatural.

I have a certain appreciation for beautifully done architecture, though I (mostly) disdain purely functional forms. Give me some flavor. Allow me to see the artistry of the architect’s vision. And if you give me bland, industrial, utilitarian space?

Graffiti the shit out of it. Somehow, someway, I want to see the art of humanity shining through the bleak, gray spaces. If we’re going to “pave paradise,” shouldn’t we make it our own?

My favorite graffiti that I’ve seen has been that found on trains, on the side of horribly mundane industrial, horribly inhuman (yet all too human) facilities, bridges, canals, etc. I love the resistance it shows, people fighting back against the bleak, faceless commodification of humanity.

~

That said, you know what I hate? I fucking hate this shit:

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See what it says? I found this at the park today. Someone carved “Homecoming?” into a tree. Someone later came behind and carved a response, “NO.” I was so fucking angry when I saw this. This is nature. Look at the word “nature.” NATURAL. Industry is unnatural – and I’m okay with bringing humanity into it. And it can be painted over. Urban art can be painted over. This? This tree is damaged for good. There’s no undoing this.

Heh. And it only got worse from there.

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This entire tree was covered from the ground to about seven feet. I was livid. And then, I was so so sad. The people who damage trees in this way are the ones who have so little respect that they’re threatening future generations’ access to our national parks. They’re the people who break through the travertine crust in Yellowstone or approach bison to take selfies. Entitled fucking morons who have zero respect for this beautiful earth we get to call home.

Grab your cans of spray paint and beautify and personalize a train or the underside of a bridge. But we must be better stewards of our planet.

Maybe I’ll go back tomorrow morning and flip that tree off. Yeah. That’ll show ’em.

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Pluck You

There you sit, all high and mighty.
You think you’re better than me.
Don’t bother trying to deny it.

I see your sneers of derision.
I hear your whispered plans.
I know you would see my end.

What, you thought I didn’t know?
That I’m not one of the chosen ones?
Hand-selected to exist alongside you?

How foolishly blind you are.
Look at how you must coddle them:
The beauty of your haughty friends comes at a price.

You want them to be with you,
But they resist at every turn, don’t they?
They make you work for their charms.

Yet here I stand, so proud and strong,
Weathering the storms of life
And the destruction of man.

You hunt me down, murderously plucking me from existence.
But you haven’t heard the last from me.
I am far stronger and more persistent than you.

I’ll be back, you sanctimonious prick; I’ll be back.
And this time?
This time, I’m coming for you.

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Pluck me, will you?
No, no.
Pluck You.

Parks & Recreaction ft. Stephanie and the Spiky Caterpillar of Doom (AKA Parks and Masturdation: Buddha and Books)

So. About that four-day weekend. I kinda went crazy, y’all. I did a lot of masturdation. And you know something? I’m a damn good date.

Mkay. Let’s see. (I’m putting dates on these, because this was actually the weekend before last. And I did more shit this past weekend!)

Thursday, April 14: Sassy and Pensive

I’ve already told you about the sassy new haircut I got last Thursday. That was on the 14th. So last last Thursday. And then later, I went to the bookstore, too! And bought books!


Friday, April 15: Date with Deadpool

I’ve also already told you about the Deadpool masturdate  last last Friday, so let’s move right along.

The end credits had such cute (and vulgar) graphics. This was one of the only clear snaps I could get.

Saturday, April 16: Please sir, may I have some more…books?

I found myself lying in bed. All. Fucking. Day. Around 7 P.M., I had had enough. I was angry and disappointed with myself. So I got up, took a shower, and went to the bookstore. I didn’t know what else to do or where else to go, but I knew I needed to get my pathetic ass out of the bed and move. Also. It’s always fun checking out the cute geeks in the sci-fi/fantasy/comics section. Sometimes they’re so deliciously yummy, I want to kidnap them (don’t worry; they’re adults) and do things to them. So uhm. I bought more books. Quelle surprise!

Added three more to the TBR stack!

Looking forward to reading this when time allows. Speaking of time, that’s a “pocket watch” on a chain. I wear it around my neck to remind me that time our time on this earth is finite; it is precious and I must Carpe the fucking Diem. “There’s only lifetime. GO!”

Yes, I spent too much money. This is rare for me. But when I do decide to spend on myself, it usually happens in a splurgy burst. But I at least had coupons for books! So I didn’t do so bad at the bookstore.

I also justified it by using “spending money” I had set aside for the trip that wasn’t. I wanted to treat myself after some personal shit went down. And y’all, I ain’t even done. I’m tired of being in the backseat of my life (unless, of course, someone is back there with me) (even then, maybe I want to drive for a while, damnit).

No, I didn’t buy this. But seriously? Trigger Warning? Sex Inside? There’s sex ON THE COVER. But “trigger warning”? Good fucking grief. Overuse of “trigger” shit drives me nuts. And sex? This is Cosmo, people. It’s gonna be like, “10 things to make your husband less likely to fall asleep after cumming in 3 seconds flat.” or “5 tips on how to bedazzle your vajazzle.”

Anyway. Let’s get to the park, shall we?

Sunday, April 17: Parks & Masturdation, or One if by Land, Buddha if by Trees

This dude has been driving me batshit about getting the fuck outside. I make excuses. He tells me to piss off. I make more excuses. He says so the fuck what. I say, but I hate it here. I want to be in the Pacific Northwest! He says, but you’re not in the fucking Northwest. Get out and live now. I say my foot is broken; he says piss off and go hobble.

So you know what? I fucking hobbled my ass to the park last last Sunday. And unfortunately, I have to admit that the smug fucker was right. I couldn’t do much walking. My foot is legit still broken (had new x-rays and it’s finally and slowly healing, though – NO SURGERY! NO PINS!)

Anyhoodles. Park. I got my ass up. At oh…1 in the afternoon or some shit. But I did good. I went straight to the shower then straight to the park (with an intermission for getting dressed – it’s not that kinda park).

I grabbed my book, Buddha in a Teacup (which is bullshit so far – more later), and did a little wandering. Not much, mind you. My foot wouldn’t let me forget it’s broken. I went first through the greenhouse. It was always my favorite part of the park, though they’ve let it go to shit.

Lemme share some lovelies from that day:

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One of the few pretties in the greenhouse.
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Went down here to read first. Until hornets ran me off.
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Somebody wanted to fuck with Buddha. How dare.

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Hornets drove me to this spot. Much lovelier anyway, once I got away from the noisy geese-feeding hordes.
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Met this little fella, too. Don’t worry. I didn’t let that venomous fucker touch me. But we chatted for a while. He’s converting to Buddhism and came to warn me that this book would likely be shite.

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More lovelies.

That was park day numberus oneicus.

Monday, April 18: Parks & Masturdation, or Making Friends and Influencing People, or A Writing Assignment

Because some little shit couldn’t be satisfied, I went to the park two days in a row. (He also says go listen to High Pass Filter right now!) And I mentioned it to someone else…all like I know I should, but I don’t wanna and he was all but you must go! And you must write something while there! No reading! Must write! These demanding asshats, I’m telling you. I did go, and I did write. But I can’t share the writing yet, as it’s to be part of a collaborative something.

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Lemme share a gratuitous amount of flower piccies, and then I’ll tell you about someone I met. It was one of those moments in life when you just know. You just fucking know. You’re exactly where you’re meant to be.

But first. Flower porn. GASP! New word! FLORN!

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Ahhhh isn’t spring glorious? I fucking love flowers. Can you tell? No? Lemme show you some more.

KIDDING. Just kidding.

Lemme tell you about Anthony now. I had been watching him, you see, crafting the beginnings of a short story based on him. He had no idea, of course. I just saw him and was inspired. I caught a glimpse of him from my table. He was down fishing off this little covered pier thingy. It showed up in the picture up there with my notepad.

I actually snuck an excellent shot of him re-baiting his hook. It was the perfect shot of him in his element, but I won’t even show my face on the blog. Not my place to show his.

Anyway, the more I wrote, the more I felt compelled to meet the real man. Not the one I was making up.

This. What I’m about to tell you about is well and truly outside of even the remotest of my comfort zones. But I felt compelled, in the truest sense. I had to meet this man.

So, for what seemed ages, I gathered my courage.
And then I gathered my things.
And then I walked down that pier.
And then, heart pounding, I spoke,

Hi! Mind if I keep you company for a bit?

It’s a public pier in a public park, but he was alone. Serene. And compared to the weekend chaos at that peer, with all the kids and geese, I figured he was probably enjoying his solitude. His communion with nature.

But he turned to me and grinned, telling me “Sure!”

So I put my things down, and he said he’d seen me writing. Asked if I was in school. Hehe. I said no; I was just writing a story. So he told me about his granddaughter. She writes children’s books, but is having fits getting published.

We chatted for a while. He asked questions about me; I answered. He told me about himself. Turns out we work for the same company. He had been retired, but grew bored after a long relationship busted up and went back to work. In his sixties now, he expressed that sometimes he grows weary of having been in the same place all his life.

Only so many times you can see the same ole thing and not wonder what else is out there that you’re missin’ out on. Ain’t much time left, and I’m past retirement age. Got a brother in Minnesota, though. Sure do love it up there. Why not, right? But it’s a scary thing, so I don’t know if I have it in me.

Why not, indeed.

So I shared a bit of my story with him, and my desire to move to the Pacific Northwest. He asked why there, and I told him how I’d been in love with Oregon ever since watching The Goonies as a kid. And then once I visited the region, I fell even harder and knew a life change was in order.

He told me I’m young and should go for it.

So I pointed at the “pocket” watch on the chain around my neck. Held it up for him to see.

Do you know what this is?

He shook his head, “Naw. Reckon you gon’ tell me, though.”

I popped it open and showed him the watch. “And do you know why I wear it?,” I asked. He just looked at me, expectantly waiting.

I wear it to remind me that life is short. I wear it to remind me that our time on this earth is finite. I wear it to remind me that there’s no time like the present time. I wear it to remind me that there’s never a right time. There’s only right now. I wear it to remind me that as long as I continue ticking along with it, it’s not too late. So I’m moving to Oregon. And you’re moving to Minnesota. And we’re going to make it count.

He smiled a winsome smile, tilted his head and cast his line back into the water.

You know somethin’, young lady? I’m gon’ call my brother tonight. See what we can see.

He looked hopeful now, wistful. I smiled and gathered my things.

Then I shook his grimy bait hand, told him it was a pleasure to meet him and to have good luck with his fishing.

And hey, Anthony? Make it count. Let’s make it count.

He grinned back at me and said, “Never too late.”

~

This post brought to you by:

Serendipity.

Synchronicity.

~

Tomàs, for encouraging me to write even when, especially when, I doubt my ability to write anything worth anything at all. For making me feel worthy, writing aside.

~

Stupidityhole for relentlessly pushing me to get the fuck out of bed and the fuck out of the house. Many. Many. Many times now. I am eternally grateful.

~

Dedicated to Anthony and everyone else who thinks it’s too fucking late. Grab life. Pluck it when it’s ripe; carpe the fucking diem.

~

Coming SoonMasturdating at Happy Hour last Friday, complete with photos of old men flexing in their tighty-whities. Perhaps a recap of tomorrow night’s concert – yes, another masturdate, and then my group Happy Hour this coming Friday night!  Oh. Oh yes. And allergic reactions and moronic recruiters and the relocation conundrum. Stay tuned! You know me. I’ll fill you in in a month or so. (Winky Face, bitches.)

The Fountain

I wrote this a few weeks ago, at the behest of my longest, dearest friend. The one who has stuck by me through good times and terrible. I was having a bad night, and he told me to write. Begged me to write, for release. Just for me.

You see, I was sitting in my car, in a store parking lot, and we were talking on the phone. And the dam burst. I had had a bad day, a bad week, and the deepest cries of my soul burst forth into him as they have so many times over the years.

I’m sharing it now.

For me.
For you.

For Tomás.

~

Watching the clouds roll in, she could feel the mood shifting. It shifted in the way a wounded animal’s mood shifts. It shifted in the way a broken heart shifts. It shifted in the way a distraught soul shifts.

The mood of the Universe was shifting.

She observed the rich but deepening blue of the night sky grow increasingly dark.

Ominously dark.

It was the clouds. But calling it a cloudy night is spurious, a red herring to throw one off from the event unfolding. It wasn’t a cloudy night. The mountainous wall of thick cloud laid waste to the sky, laid waste to the light, as it marched forward, assaulting the beauty of the night and robbing her of the glory of the Cosmos.

She was one with Cosmos. It had always been so.

She could feel the pulse of the earth.
She could feel the wind’s breath.
She could feel the raw power of storms thundering through her body.
She could smell the salt sea and sense unexplored depths.
She could smell the crisp clean air of untamed mountains and wildernesses.
She could feel the humid, damp earth of the forest floor and spot the slick and shiny slime trails of banana slugs and wonder upon their journey and purpose.
She could feel the shuddering earth as herds and hordes raced across the land, to greener grasses, to better mates, away from danger.

She feels the moods of the Cosmos. They are connected in some ways deeper than the connection of lovers.

She weeps when the Earth weeps, when the sky weeps.
She aches when animals are in pain, and she shatters when humans tear each other apart.

And she yearns. She aches. She needs.

Always looking up. Attuned to both the Earth and the Heavens. In awe of the unique and nightly paintings splashed across a shifting atmospheric canvas. In awe of the sea of stars carpeting the night sky. In awe of powerful light sources that looked so dainty to the naked eye, but were in truth powerful enough to burn one alive should one approach too closely, their beauty too much to behold in full.

She is not empathetic. She is empathy. And only the vast and mighty Cosmos understand her, and she it.

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And tonight, she wonders, and not for the first time…

Am I feeling the pain of the Universe?
Or is the Universe feeling mine?

Is the mountain of clouds drowning my light?
Or is my own darkness shrouding the universe in a cowl?

She tilted her head up, unruly curls whipping wildly about her head, and gazed up at the terror unfolding. The Others seemed oblivious. Doing their shopping, scolding their children, honking their horns to hurry, hurry, hurry. But not her.

She was attuned to things others ignored or had never been aware of at all. She could see that which was real and dismissed that which was not. She could see into the eternal. Searching in earnest for a sign. Any little sign that it would all be okay. And just as she was about to hang her head and weep, she spotted it.

A single rogue star, peeking out from the shroud.
Her breath caught, her pulse quickened, and she emitted the tiniest little squeak of joy.

And then.
And then it was gone.
The star was overtaken.

She gulped back tears, and the pain in her chest intensified with every advance of the mountain. It was overhead now, and as she gazed upon it, she could see in its darkness a swirling, seething mass of heartache, loss, lack, loneliness, pain, hate. It overwhelmed her gentle soul and seemed impenetrable. She collapsed to her knees on the pavement, one hand gripping loose asphalt, the other gripping her chest.

The Cosmos were dying, and she was dying with it.

Her heart pounded and hammered and raged against the dying of the light, until slowly, slowly it became the tiniest flicker of the tiniest ember. With the last bit of strength she had, she forced her head up through the viscous mass of cloud. She could see nothing. This was no mere darkness. This was a complete and utter lack of light. She slowly, uneasily and with growing frailty rocked back on her heels, thrust her hands up into the mass and up toward where she knew the heavens hid.

She opened her eyes to the darkness. She allowed it into her. She became one with the darkness and felt all of the pain. All of the anguish. All of the love and loss and heartache and death and betrayal and war and famine. All of the poison. All of the lack. She felt it all. Overwhelmed by the vastness of it all, she gasped for breath and clutched her chest once more.

Please, she whispered.
Please, she pleaded.
If I’m causing you pain, I’ll do better.
If I’m feeling your pain, please help me.
I’m dying under the weight of your pain
.
Share it with me.
I’m taking your pain into me; take mine.
Be one with me as I am one with you.
Let us heal each other
.

When the first fat raindrop plopped onto her cheek, she brushed it aside as yet another tear. But then another and another and another raindrop followed, until she understood and looked up, bathing her face in it.

These aren’t my tears at all.
They’re yours.
Let us bathe in each other’s tears and cleanse each other of this palpable darkness.
Let me love you.
Let me love you, and others will follow.

And the tiny ember of her heart kindled once more into a crackling warmth. And she knew, she knew all would be right with the Universe. With herself. And so she did the only thing there was left to do. She stripped down to her naked skin and gleefully bathed in the fountain of the Universe.

Because no matter how thick the clouds.
No matter how dark the void grows.
The fountain always appears; the font never dry.

They simply have to hold fast through the storms, through the darkness, through the pain.

Together.

And the fountain will rejuvenate.
Restore.
Cleanse.
Heal.

~

Thank you, Tomás.

For the words.
For the listening.
For the kindred.
For the soul.

For the unconditional.
Love.

For the fountain.

Splish
Splash

 

 

Housekeeping: Finishing up the 3-day quote challenge!

Here goes. Y’all ready for my final quotes for the challenge? I hope so. And I equally hope you’re ready to share more with me!

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This one is quite special to me. I’ve always loved the poem – look, I know poems aren’t exactly what is meant by “quote.” But fuck it, just look at it as an extra-long quote that’s kinda sorta like a poem. Cuz it’s a fuckin’ poem! – but it became even more special to me in college. One of the best professors in the world would read it – and cry – at least once in every course he taught. For decades. The world is a sadder place with his absence. I hope I can live up to the dream he had for all of his students…to Carry the Message to Garcia (oooo another post idea) and to take the road less traveled by.

The Road Not Taken
~Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

That last part always choked him up, my professor. And he always ended with silent tears weaving down the crevices of his age-worn face. He was so dear to me and to so many others. He certainly took the road less traveled by, and I hope that I will in the end as well.

~

And last, but certainly not least. I know I’ll take the road less traveled by, because:

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And that has made all the difference.

Attack on Veggiopolis: The One where Stephanie Talks Herself into a Breakthrough and Finds Evidence of a Potato Lick-and-Run

Howdy Peoplleaneous!

Before we get started, let me just get this out of the way. You see that word up there? Ugh, not that one. The other one: Peoplleaneous. Yeah, that one. Dude. I fretted over that far longer than I should have. The way I should spell it, I mean. And this is what I settled upon. While I’m still not pleased with it, take it or leave it. (Please take it. It would miss you if you left it.)

Chapata One: The Pep-Talk

Now that bit of housekeeping is taken care of, let’s move along shall we? This morning started off well enough – better than usual, actually. I got this little grand idea of starting the day off with a pep talk from shaunk84 over at Tales in Anxiety. (Please check him out if you haven’t already. Good stuff.) It’s sort of like a verbal note-to-self to start your day off in a positive way. Since I spend so much of my time telling Stephanie what a right piece of shit she is, I know full well how powerful the words we speak to ourselves can be. So I put the pep-talk to the test.

I stood in front of the bathroom mirror (just a regular one on the door of a medicine cabinet) in my bra and underwear and. Yeah. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t muster the strength while she just stood there all naked and gross. So I gave myself some wiggle room.

I cranked some jams, on and up. Damn, I haven’t done that in ages: listened to music while getting ready for work. That used to be part of my morning routine. Then depression took it from me. Well, I’m taking it back. I played Kenna’s “Make Sure They See My Face” album, because it’s one of those than seems to have a knack for getting me moving in spite of myself. This song in particular had me hopping around and smiling:

I went to get dressed for work, got all my shit together, then returned to the bathroom mirror. Psyched up and ready for myself.

This time I managed to do it. I didn’t say much…but I looked myself in the eye and said something like, “YNEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Gene Simmons of Kiss departs Ed Sullivan Theater on October 10, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)ou got this.” It was all mumbly and weird. So I laughed, raised my voice a little and looked me in the eye and said – bolder, louder – “Today is your bitch, and you’ve got this shit!” Then I opened my mouth, stuck my tongue out and shook my head back and forth, hands throwing that sign.

You know the look. Dear god, I hope I didn’t look as much a twat as he did/does. I did, didn’t I? You know what? I don’t give a fuck. It worked! I was embarrassed with myself, but I did it. And I was smiling, to boot. Smiling. On the way out the door. To work. Quelle surprise!

Chapata Two: Chinks in the Armor or Revenge of the Oatmeal

I managed to maintain that smile for an hour or so. And then I bit into breakfast, only to find I’d have to return to my dentist. I had a filling yesterday, so it wasn’t like I was eating bricks. Not for at least a couple more days yet. It was oatmeal, for fucks sake. And I suddenly had the sensation of an epidural-size needle (those ten-foot ones they show in the movies – that’s what they use, right?) driving straight through my jaw. Like some badass motherfucker was trying, with all his might, to pierce my skull. Yay me!

My armor suffered chink number one.

Then Queen Bitch of the Universe got to work. And commenced to being Queen Bitch of the Universe. Who gets even bitchier when I refuse to bow down. Then I let her talk me into going to lunch with her (the fuck is the matter with me?), where – you guessed it – things got even worse. It got so bad that I cried at my desk after lunch, before remembering that I’m in my thirties FOR. FUCKS. SAKE. and need to take ownership of my life. You don’t survive in Corporate America by being the nice girl. Your heart and soul get thrown into the blender, and they serve that shit alongside the stale-ass birthday cake on the table outside accounting.

My armor suffered chink number two.tumblr_nf5ji2AleY1s72k2ho1_r1_500i will sell this house

But I started polishing up my LinkedIn profile. Emphasis on started. I am one thousand percent shyte at networking. But I am going to improve on that, damnit. And I will get out of this shithouse job and into a new shithouse job if it’s the last thing I do!

Then I go to the dentist, and he proceeds to drill down my new filling….sans any numbing agents whatsoever. No little anbesol swabby thingy. No shots of anesthetic (yes I meant that to be plural. I’m a bitch to numb.). Nada. It was the best time I’ve ever had outside the time I broke my tailbone in the bowling alley.

My armor suffered chink number three.

After that, I decided to hell with it. I’m not going back to work this late in the day. So I headed to some department stores to look for shoes (for those stupid insole thingies that the podiatrist had me order). Went into four shops, none of which had a single friendly salesperson and none of which had any appropriate removable-insole footwear for sale. One lady was so mean that after she insulted me and walked off, I grabbed a credit app off of the check-out counter and scrawled a message in Sharpie: “Some customers actually do need assistance and aren’t just wasting your time. You could have gotten a commission off of me. THANKS FOR NOTHING.”

Passive Aggressive much? Yeah, I know…I know…But do you have any idea how hard it is for me to darken the doors of places like that, much less actually shop around, try things on, blah blah blah? Fuck it. I’m ordering online and will deal with returns if the size is wrong.

My armor suffered chink number four.

And then it happened. The dam burst, and I cried all the way home.

Chapata Three: The Squirrels Lay Siege to The Veggie Patch

After changing into comfy shit, I flopped face-first onto the bed and got the rest of my crying out. Got up. Blew my nose. Sat back down on the edge of the bed. Even the cats wouldn’t greet me. I mean, what the fuck man. I nearly called it quits on the day right then and there. Take my evening meds early so I wouldn’t miss ’em and just pass out and sleep ’til morning.

But the rain had broken. There was a drought here of several months, which suddenly broke on Saturday, and the rain hasn’t stopped since then until this evening. I looked out the window, from my perch on the edge of the bed, out toward Veggiopolis, and knew this could be my only shot for a few days. I needed to check on things and get some garlic in the ground.

I remembered my pep-talk. I remembered shaunk’s words. I remembered how good it felt to smile this morning. I remembered all the shit you hear about outdoors being good for you. And I forced myself out the back door. I wasn’t happy about it. I wanted to sulk and cry and feel sorry for myself and hate the world. But I did it. I got off my ass, and I did it.

Task #1 was to clear the eight thousand five-hundred seventy-six tons of pine-straw off of The Veggie Patch. Task #2 was to plant some garlic. Task #1 taken care of (holy balls, bending over that much makes me dizzy…), I move on to Task #2…

But wait. Wait a fucking minute. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!

A carrot goes about his daily life, happily and unobtrusively. What's that, you say? Oh my bad. He used to live there. Until he was carrotnapped.
A carrot goes about his daily life, happily and unobtrusively. What’s that, you say? Oh my bad. He used to live there. Until he was carrotnapped.

I think the proper question is, what WAS that? Look at all of that disturbed earth. The upset twine. The missing…that little fucker. A vicious squirrel has launched The War on Veggies. He stole my pre-pubescent carrot and maybe even ate him.  If I allow him to continue his shenanigans, Veggiopolis will become Veggiopolis-adjacent!

Ask me if he stopped there! Do it! Ask me! Oh no. Ohhhohohooohhhhhno he most certainly did not! Behold!

What's that? Oh, he only dug it up? No biggy, at least he left it for me, right? ...
What’s that? Oh, he only dug it up? No biggy, at least he left it for me, right? …

Have you any idea what that is? Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

What's taters, precious?
What’s taters, precious? If left to his own devices, this little tater may have been president someday. Now we’ll never know. Thanks Obama.

Y’all know what time it is? It’s time to go to the mattresses.

You know what I’m gonna do with that poor underdeveloped tater? I’m gonna make the world’s smallest potato cannon and go Rambo on some squirrel ass!

HOUSE: House (Hugh Laurie, R) takes on his nemesis in an annual spud gun competition in
Better yet, I’ll hire House to do it. That way he can make the squirrel feel small and uesless and pathetic before pelting him with minitater.

Then I’m going to cook up some squirrel patties…hmm. We can’t call them burgers. Let’s call them squirgers. I’m going to cook squirgers and one-third of a french fry out of that tater. And then I’m going to go outside, sit with my legs propped up on the timbers of Veggiopolis, and eat that squirger and one-third length french fry right in front of the squirrel’s entire family.

“No, Stephanie! You mustn’t! That will incite revenge!” you frantically exclaim.

To which I say, bring it bitches. Do your worst, for I shall do mine. I’m going to fashion tiny daggers out of
any remaining carrots. And I’m going to arm the gnomes to the teeth.

To. The. Teeth!

In the meantime, since Tom Petty won’t back down, I figure I shouldn’t either. I mean, what’s good for the Petty is good for the gander or something like that.

I'm fighting back with garlic. Behold the Spanish Roja. Beware squirrels. And vampires. And especially vampire squirrels. And Bunnicula.

I’m fighting back with garlic. Behold the Spanish Roja. Beware squirrels. And vampires. And especially vampire squirrels. And Bunnicula.

King’s to you, Squirrel. King’s to you.

Chapata Four: Stephanie Prevails

The Veggie Patch shenanigans made me smile, and I prevailed. Yay me.

Potent Quotables

The tone of my latest posts has been rather dark. I would like to follow up by simply letting the words of others far worthier than I speak for themselves. I believe they will be equally touching to you as they are and have been to me. Again, some timely words of wisdom and insight.

From The Velveteen Rabbit, written by Margery Williams:

He said, “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Those words are from one of my all time favorite stories. Reading such passages as an adult reminds me of its importance and purpose in my life. (This also makes me consider doing little segments on my favorite children’s books. I’m a sucker for children’s books and stories. Hmm. Yes. I think I’ll do that. Don’t let me forget, friends! – Speaking of which, I need something to call my friends here. “Readers” sounds lame. “My dears” sounds icky and ancient and like I’m about to make doilies for you. Anyway. Damn, can I digress.)

Next up is this beauty from Wendell Berry. It’s called “The Peace of Wild Things.”

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Isn’t that lovely? It makes me smile and sigh and weep and ponder. And it reminds me of how I feel when I commune with nature. It makes me feel whole and alive and part of something precious and magnificent. And that makes me feel simultaneously small and important.

So I will make time, this weekend. I will make time to commune with nature. Even if it’s just in my back yard with The Veggie Patch. My soul yearns for the outdoors. I would be wise to heed its call.