Hello from Wyoming!; Or, We Fucking Like Ike

Hi! How are you? Now it says on my chart that my skin is dry, I talk too fast for the locs, and my boogers are all hard. Sorry, I am having an Idiocracy moment lately.

I got this little couple at a flea market since my dachshund salt and pepper shakers are wearing out. Not even painted straight! D’AWWWWW.

My route was like Washington>Idaho>Montana>Wyoming via Yellowstone and Jackson Hole. It sounds beyond ridiculous but I always forget how fricking big the Mountain West is until I am floating through it. To be fair, my friend Halo drove. It is our ten year friendiversary this September. I will have to tell you the story of how Halo and I met soon. I offered but I was happy to be a passenger and pay for some gas and meals. I made a Flickr set if you’re so inclined, and will keep adding to it.

On the first night we stayed in Missoula, which was pretty uneventful, other than getting upgraded to a Jacuzzi room for free because of a booking issue. The second night, however. We drove through Yellowstone and stopped at places here and there, and by the time we were getting through the Tetons and whatnot it was very dark. I am kind of excited to say I have driven through Yellowstone in the pitch black, wow. It’s really something. There’s fires everywhere out here now so no stars even, but gorgeous red sunsets.

By the time we got to Jackson Hole, our destination for that night, it was 11:30. Every hotel was either booked solid (most of them) or they were $400/night, which, I just couldn’t book a place that was $400 a night, barely see it, and not get like, handjobs from angels or something as a bonus. Using my terrible phone maps we drove all over Jackson, praying for a sign that said yes. After about a half hour, we pulled over to the side of the road, and sat, dazed. Jackson Hole had morphed to Jackson Butthole, because I am 12.

“Hmm,” I said. “What do you think about continuing to drive?” Our destination was about 8 hours away at this point, and there was just not much around. I’m used to being able to throw one of my enemies’ skulls and hit a hotel back home. A lot of the “towns” we drove through were mostly cows or horses.

“Okay, and we can stop at a rest area when we are too tired,” Halo agreed.

We were driving out of town…the freeway was in sight…and BANG, there was the Virginia Lodge with a sign reading “vacancy.” Even from the dark road I could tell it wasn’t the plushest place, which maybe meant it would be more affordable. I rolled into the lobby and greeted the clerk with a cheery “GOOD MORNING.” There was taxidermy everywhere and he had the dirtiest fingernails I had ever seen on a hospitality employee, but this was going to work. It had to. He handed me actual keys, which was novel. The room boasted wood paneling and a single fishing poster. The parking lot was a mix of trailers, Harleys, and cars. Halo was curious about the ratings of the place and took a peep around once we were in our jammies and trying to wind down in our beds. Some people loved the price for value; one person complained that their feet got filthy from the carpet, which I thought was funny until my soles turned black from walking the distance between the shower and my bed.

The next morning was the real treat–I regret not getting there early enough (okay, being too old and tired after two days on the road) to venture over to the saloon for a drink.

The butting rams were something special. You may be shocked to learn I have bought no taxidermy and no velvets. I have not seen any velvets, and the taxidermy has looked ugly to me. I am surprised to discover that I have opinions about antelope appearances and that some are pretty and some have faces for antelope radio. Of course, I would not buy a SECOND antelope (though Halo is urging me to buy a Barry Mantelope to keep Jennifer Antelope company), but I have not seen other animals I want either. YET.

I popped into the liquor store after the saloon for purposes of general anthropology and was astounded to see this!

A Crown Royal quilt! Being raffled!!

“This is beautiful,” I said to the clerk, who beamed. “Is this from the company, or…?”

“Oh no,” he said. “My mother-in-law made it. We go through hundreds of these bags a week at the bar!” He flipped the quilt over and had me admire and feel the glorious soft gold fur she had backed it with. What a treat it would be to curl up on the couch and read under a motherfucking Crown Royal quilt. Boy am I glad I went in. I was sadder to see the souvenir hoodles were $60. OUCH.

The next day, after arriving in Laramie, Halo decided to take me to one of her favorite cafes, the Prairie Rose.

It was slammed. The regular waitress was like a well-oiled machine, cranking around the counter and tables, taking orders, slinging food, cashiering, and, unfortunately for her, being in charge of what was immediately revealed to be a new girl. She was tall and tan and blonde and was wearing those fancy jeans that look like Liberace spooged all over the pockets too tightly so it made a little brown muffin top that poofed out of the gap between her shirt and pants. Halo and I watched the new girl ooze around behind the counter, every motion inefficient and including several unneeded movements. We watched her forget things and greet customers out of order, and let food stack up on the service window. We both cringed because we have been the zippy fast counter girl in the past and we felt the pain of the old hand who was albatrossed with this new lemon.

The old pro was doing that training-in-motion thing where you nudge the noob into doing things correctly until their training wheels come off. “They want four waters, four coffees,” she said to the new girl, who did not appear to even hear the order. “Bring them menus!” Trudge, trudge, ooze.

“Where is she?” said the cook, shuffling the backed up plates in his window.

“I don’t KNOW,” sighed the pro, grabbing what looked like about twelve plates at once.

The new girl drifted out of the backroom. “Do we have…chocolate chips?” she asked the cook through the window.

“NO.” he said.

The old pro stopped in front of us briefly and we could hear her taking a deep, deliberate breath. “I don’t know why it’s so busy at 11 on a Tuesdsay morning,” she muttered, mostly to herself but partly to us in the way you do when you work close to the people you are serving. Someone may just hear you and respond.

“Count to ten!” I said, not glibly.

“It won’t help.” she replied. A few minutes later the pro asked the new girl to get our orders out of the window and bring them to us. We were all of 6 feet from the window and practically could have reached them ourselves.

New girl brought two menus and waved them at us weakly. “Do you need…?”

“Our food is in the window,” I said, pointing.

“Oh.” she put the menus down and walked off to do something else entirely.

There were no refills on coffee, but the breakfast burritos were delicious. It is my fondest wish that the new girl gets fired and finds a more suitable line of work, perhaps as a snail or as that goop you put in your bike tires.

À Part Ça

Here’s some news for your face: I bought a house. Of course it’s been in progress for a couple of months with the looking and the bidding and the inspecting and the oy with the poodles already, but I didn’t want to jinx it by talking about it. I wish I could tell you how many things in my life have fallen through unnoted because I didn’t want to tell you and jinx it preemptively and feel all sad in my blogpants and well, fuck, things fall through anyway, so what do jinxes have to do with it, anyhow? I don’t want to dwell on that stuff. Everyone is coming along–I think there will be no more household divisions unless something goes really sideways again. The house is from the amazing year 1954 and has been barely altered. In fact, other than the necessary updates, like plumbing, electrical, roof, etc, it’s pretty much a time capsule.

One of my very favorite things about it is that of all previous owners, of which I don’t believe there’s been too many, none have destroyed the pink tiled guest bathroom in it. I have pink tiled bathroom nostalgia, because my darling college rambler in Phoenix had a pink and black tiled en suite bathroom off the master bedroom. What else can you do but run with it? Of course I had a flamingo shower curtain. Sometimes things that happen to you at that impressionable age change your DNA a little.

Did you know there is a thing with pink bathrooms? Mamie Eisenhower loved pink so much that her shade was dubbed First Lady Pink. I have often assumed that Mamie was a nickname in her case–but no, it was her actual name. “Mamie” cracked the top 1000 baby names in 1960, no doubt inspired by her. When I think of the 1950s in the U.S., I certainly think of that shade. I almost jizzed in my pants when I walked into this bathroom in an antique shop in Deer Trail, Montana where I bought too many brooches and a fake fur coat with fake leather chevrons patterned into it. In addition to a Cinderella tub, the bathroom also had a Dixie cup holder that was identical in shade and style to the one in my new house.

Anyway, I am thinking of how to decorate it, and how to paint to complement the pink. I’ve got some unboring ideas. While I was at Bart’s Flea Market here in Laramie, I noticed there was a ton of twentieth-century presidential memorabilia, and I am a sucker for midcentury American political history and have been since I was 18 really. I could not take all the Kennedy banks and Lincoln bookends home, but I did decide to snap up this gem:

I had to take a close up picture of President Eisenhower and his delightful lip color. Of course this is going up in the bathroom in honor of Mamie.

So closing is August 28th. If you think all this court stuff is boring, just wait until you see this turn into I, Interior Designhole. Pictures forthcoming! ZZZZZZ, sorry. Either you are landed gentry and have many opinions and advices for me, or you are unlanded and don’t care. Boy howdy will you miss Legal Beat volumes 1-9000 then. Click to unfollow! Etc.

Asshole girl

Yes the cutting garden is next to the boathouse but if you see the squash courts you’ve gone too far.

Oh September. You make me happy/sad. I was supposed to go to Hood Riverish area this weekend but it fell through. An overnight in Port Townsend was better.

Strudel at the Palace.

“Antique mall” score.

I wanted a Japanese woodblock print of an actor, late 19th century, but not $200 wanted. So I got this for $18 instead:

In situ and with bonus me so you know I’m doing science and still alive.

I’m running out of walls.

One last score…a bottle of snake oil.

I uploaded more to my Flickr, because enough is enough crammed into one RSS feed, eh?

Hey I finished a chapter of my cookbook, like, edited, finished. You know I had already finished cooking. That’s good. Actually I got some suggestions from one of my editors already, so maybe finished-finished is overstating it. Everything feels so serendipitous right now…a cookbook store is opening near me. It’s probably just brain chemicals. So I will be editing for the rest of the holiday weekend and I’m going to create a “shell” a little at a time that the final recipes can be inserted into with the correct font and illustrations.

I owe everyone and their mom an email! But now some wine. Fun writing tomorrow if I can fit it…more first dates starring Todd[s].

10 10 10 10 FOR EVERYTHING

The bad thing about a memorial service is that if you’re me you cry all the way through, but the good thing is that you get to hear a lot of people stand up and say that the person you admired was the type of person who would cosign medical school loans for immigrants who needed a second chance, a person who would tape a broken arm up in a newspaper and take you to get it set properly, and was a good father, friend, and doctor. It’s nice when a lot of people agree and find all those good things inspiring.

“Am I going to have to stand up to talk when you die?” Strudel said.

At the Hotel Deluxe

Inky and Ruby catch The Panther Express

Outside Jeld-Wen Field

At Pho Van

Cousins–Gabriel, May, and Strudel

Fountain at Leach Botanical Gardens

I nicked an orchid from one of the arrangements.

“It Appears As If A Piece of Me Has Got Motivation”

Regular readers may have noticed I mentioned a vacation in the middle of all my usual blibber-blubber stream-of-consciousness weh-weh-my-pussy-hurts life stuff. I posted a selection of pics from Maui and Molokai, if you’re interested. I had a really nice time. I was there for a week and was pretty much on Seattle time most of the time, up at 4, to bed at 10 at the latest (apparently I am elderly). I drank mai tais and went to beach yoga and hiked around a little and swam A LOT. I have not really had a proper vacation in years. I feel fortunate to have seen three islands now.

Hawaii is always a little weird. It’s another state and primed for tourism, but there is a lot of kind of post-colonial tension still at work there. I had a really interesting talk with a tour guide on Molokai about history and politics once he saw I was receptive to it, away from the other gringos. He was a legend. I wish I could have captured him singing “Fly Me to the Moon” as we were trapped in the van with him. I came back and was sleeping ten-hour stints, which surprised me. Anyway, I am happy to be back now that my schedule’s recovered.

Hot dog sushi at Maui Mall.

You Move So Fast, Makes Me Feel Lazy

I took Strudel to Port Townsend last week. She is SIX now! I used to take her sister places and she asked why I never took her anywhere.

Internal Voice: Because you’re INSANE.

Out Loud: Because you are not quite old enough.

Strudel: How old do I have to be?

Internal Voice: 37.

Out Loud: Ummm, six?

She held me to it, too. Naturally my goofball gets into the car and when we arrive, I discover that in spite of reminding her two or three times, she has not packed or taken her coat.

“You did not remind me ENOUGH, Mom.” Christ on a fucktaco crumpet. So we bought a fleecy windbreaker thing since I knew downtown and the beaches are crazy windy. I took her to see “Rango,” which was really cute but she started crashing around 8:30 or so. How fun is it to see a movie out of town, anyway? I love it.

We had to leave the movie, but that’s okay. She was so tired she told me I was ruining the WHOLE TRIP, but she slept it off. Then I turned the news on quietly and saw Japan and cried a little.

My sister moved in with me. WOW! BIG NEWS! COOL! CHANGES! I am happy I have one last member of my dysfunctional family that I did not actually make with my own body standing. It’s not a yardstick or gold star, but it’s nice. I think she was feeling really good about her decision until she came home on Saturday night and I was wearing cat ears and kicking Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, LOUDLY.

Hobo & Poodle & Asshole Go to Portland

HEY FUCKERS For a week now I have been trying to think of a way to tell you what happened when I was in Portland in a way that is PG-13 or lower and will not be used against me in court. I cannot. You will have to look at the pictures in my set and try to piece it together yourself. Suffice it to say that THAT happened and Franny’s former teacher and my friend, Hazel, was a fabulous hostess.

I can tell you one thing: Franny was in fine form. I realized recently that I am going through a thing where I am in love with Franny right now. She is becoming so freaking hilarious at times I get disabled with laughter and cannot move. I am not saying I am some kind of comedic genius, but I have decided that I am going to teach her everything I know about being funny. That will be an awkward twenty minutes.

YES YOU DO want to hear something shallow about me and Franny, and that thing is that when she was a wee parasite my biggest fear was that she would turn out to be some fugly stick terror (keep it classy, twenty-one-year-old self), which is ridiculous because SeaFed was handsome and my genes get drunk sometimes but mostly sit quietly and get overwritten. And now that she is so pretty I feel like I need to give her more.

I act like I have one ounce of control over any of this, but I will not allow her to be The Pretty One. Franny and Strudel were playing Nancy Drool the other day (Caroline Keene I will drive a stake through your hateful undead heart) and Franny asked Strudel if she wanted to be “The Pretty One” or “The Funny One,” because you bet your fucksocks Franny was going to be Nancy.
Can girls be the pretty one AND the funny one? Unsurprisingly, I guess, encouraging this is my hobby now, since Franny shows such an aptitude for it. I prefer this to my mother’s program, which was a major in Disordered Eating (Breakout Session: There Is Nothing Worse Than Being Fat: T/T?) with a minor in “Good Luck With That One, Kid.” (Seminar: Walk It Off, Pussy).

So Franny has taken on a new personality all of her own doing, and that personality is Hobo. Hobo refers to (himself?) in the third person and is quite FYCL* vociferous on the subject of Cheetos, Doritos, beer, and public urination. [Sample Dialogue: “HOBO LIKES EATING CHEETOS, DORITOS, DRANKIN BEER AND PEEING INTO BOTTLES.” I dunno man.] When Hobo goes away and Franny is sweet again Poodle comes out. Poodle liek you. YOU LIEK POODLE?

Traveling alone with Franny made me remember how much I like traveling. P. and I and the girls used to all travel together in a clump just like a real family (guilt and fights over stupid inconsequential shit sold separately) and it was HELL. Traveling with P. is like traveling with a Jack Russell on meth. You could practically see his face pressed up against the window by the time we got to Sodo, clawing like an abandoned dog in a hot car. By the time we got to Tacoma? FORGET IT, it is not printable. If he was driving he would swear like Christmas Steve on a malt beverage bender. Who doesn’t like driving, I ask you? Oh. Now I know.

Plans for Fuck Off England Day? Yes, I have some. I bought some books at the OG Powell’s in Portland. I have been reading the “biography” of Betty Crocker, which is a funny thing, since she is a fabricated brand, of course. The book contains a selection of letters of the thousands that were written to “Betty” during wartime and beyond. On one hand it marries stuff I enjoy, American history, domestical history of Ladees, and insanely awesome marketing schemes. On the other, it is sad to read these desperate letters to a corporation: “How can I cook a meal to keep my husband?”

IN CONCLUSION, it is making me want to make an orange chiffon cake, the recipe for which was apparently kept under lock and key for twenty years until the originator sold it to General Mills. I also found a recipe I copied down for Any Fruit Cobbler from Fanny Farmer last summer when I was on vacation. I am remembering through the vacation haze of sangria and I FOUND THESE PILLS AND I EATED THEM that the cobbler was pretty dope. I’ll tell you what, Ima find some any fruit and bung it in.

I am reading other books right now…women and Islam (The Caged Virgin) and Victorian Era courtesans. I guess I am in new mode right now. I also have new music: new Mos Def, which is SO GROOD, and Kidz in the Hall. Mr. Lif and new K-Os did not rip over to my MP3 correctly, but I am getting there. There seems to be a stampede at Pirate Bay at the moment as it changes hands.


Chasin Rainbows, Adrenaline Pumpin

Yesterday was pretty eventful. Making up for my hellride the last time I came down, the universe decided to let my plane land early and the flight was almost empty. I can’t imagine why–perhaps because it’s like forty degrees here. Wow, a place where the weather fails worse than Seattle. Also, where I am, it constantly sounds like people are drag racing outside my room. Kind of weird.

I saw my homie Frida at MOMA yesterday. My internal compass was kind of spinning, so I ended up going kind of out of my way through the Mission and while I was switching albums I started to notice that people around me were weaving and shouting. I heard someone hiss behind me to their companion, “Thursday is they day THEY get their CHECKS.” oic.

Thumbnail image for Thursday 002.jpgFigure 1: Obligatory DOOD MF MOMA shot.

I had some time before they let me into Frida, so I hit Lee Miller. Artgasm!

Then it was time to stuff myself into my dress and go to Guy Kawasaki’s house where Squid and I met Maisnon, who introduced herself in my favorite way ever: “Okay, so I’m kind of your stalker….” She was like Dorothy Parker on the good crack, and possibly slangier than I am, which I didn’t know was possible. Thank satan for outgoing people.

We bounced back from the hotel where I ditched my ridonkulous shoes for some slides, and went to the People’s Party. Several people wanted to meet The Bloggess, who was one of the party’s official hosts.

“Ohhh yeah,” I said dimly. “I heard she’s famous.”

“There she is,” my friend said.

OH, it’s Jenny. I met her on the bus in Chicago on the first day of Blogher last year, when she was a brand new blogger.

Thursday 005.jpgI swear no one was smashed at this party. I’m sure you didn’t notice anything anyway.

Lisa Stone made us contributing editors have circle tiem, which was good, and had a professional photo snap us to make the site shinier.

Here are my boss‘s foots:

Thursday 003.jpgAwesome!

I am on a slow fail craptop and I have to say I hate that MT 4 is making me break to upload pictures. Before it was a popup box and you could keep writing while the picture is uploading. I am still having technical difficulties, so hang in there! Or not. Or, you know, go outside. But not here. Fucking brrr.

My time was well-spent at the close of the night, First Goatseing Gwendomama and FSJ. Don’t worry, I am still trolling even here. Inform our cult leader.

After breakfast, drinking with Squid (it just worked out that way, OKAY?) and seeing this splendid man, who is wisely avoiding Vaginatown.

I Can’t Blab Such Blibber Blubber, etc

San Francisco WHAT THE HELL. I always have the weirdest time there. Last time I was there was terrible but oddly fascinating. There is something about that place, like I love everyone I see and there is sex pouring out of the streets or something. That probably sounds CRAZY if you live there, but I don’t care. Better sex coming out of the streets than ennui or purple or golf clubs, I imagine.

Continue reading