Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hot Nut Sacks & Midget Conversations

I really love hot, brown sacks of spicy nuts.  Truly, I do.  Especially if they've been soaking long enough to get nice and tender...the nuts, that is, not the sack.

Today, after bringing our car home from the repair shop (an engine mount was coming dislodged), I stopped at Maria's Nut House (formerly Dixie Nut House) and picked up one of their $8 bags of Cajun Boiled Peanuts.  Honestly, there is nothing better on this planet, in Southern Roadside Cuisine, than good boiled peanuts.  As I was polishing off a pile of these on the way home I noticed a white car behind me a ways that might have been a police car...and I thought, "Oh, might be a cop car, better not toss these shells out the window."  Then, I started thinking about it - is it littering if the items you're littering are biodegradable and came from the earth in the first place?  I frown on littering of things that don't belong to the earth, but peanut shells clearly started out there and I'm just returning them to...the pavement - where they should get pulverized into something that gets carried off into the sides of the road and goes back into the earth, right?  Right.  Well, in my mind that's correct...I wonder, though.  

I wondered this same thing as I drove over a banana peel about 5 miles later...and, then promptly started wondering how a banana peel ended up in the middle of a highway (Hwy - 2 lane road you can go 60+ on out in the boonies)...and, of course, it had to have been left by someone like me, but you could argue that peanut shells are more natural to the area of the country we're in.  I don't know anyone up here that has banana trees growing nearby (of course...I don't know anyone that grows peanuts, either).


On the way to the "City" that we took our car to get repaired at, to get breakfast and then check on the car, C declared to me "I want a horsey!"  This was, of course, after seeing the field of beautiful horses we always pass when on our way to this "City".  The rest of the conversation went very much like this:

Me: "I want a horsey too!  Let's go get one and put it in the back of the van!"  (that we were driving at the time, mind you)

C: ::gives me look like I'm absolutely insane for thinking I could fit a horse in the back of a 1997 mini-van::

Me: "Well...we could probably fit a miniature horse in the back!"

C: "They poop a lot."

Me: "They do, huh?"

C: "Yes, that's why they're so small!"

Me: "Ohhhhhh really?"

C: "Yes, it's a proven scientific fact that miniature horses poop a lot, that's why they're so small...they're always pooping."

Me: "So, you're saying that because they're tiny they poop a lot, so big horses don't poop as much because if they did then they'd be tiny, too, right?"

C: "Yes, exactly."

Me: "So, that means that midgets must be small because they poop a lot???"

C: "Yes!  In fact, midgets poop so much I've heard that a lot of them have to wear Depends because they're constantly dropping loads all over the place and can't control it."

Me: "I I'm big because I don't poop a lot? (Even though some would argue I technically do)"

C: "Yep!"

-AA, over and out.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shower Scenes

While my finger has been healing from surgery (a couple of weeks ago), C has been helping me with showering as I've only got one usable hand (the other having a couple of Wal-Mart plastic bags and a rubber band over it).  Today, one of our fascinating conversations went mostly like this:

(C is scrubbing me down) 

C: (in a drawling Southern Accent - think "old South") "Well, I do declare Miss, I think you have the cleanest breasts in Dixie County!"

Me: "I'm going to write that in my blog today!"

C: "No!  Don't do that!"

Me: "Why not?"

C: "I don't want everyone knowing my secrets...them stealing my thunder!  I'm an enigma, I'm a mysterious enigma of mysteriousness and I like it that way."

Me: "Okay...well, at least it's not like I'm Twittering this!"

C: "Twitter is stupid."

Me: "It's pretty funny, actually.  k.d. lang keeps posting that she's every one's Daddy."

C: "Where, on Twitter?  She's who's Daddy?"

Me: "She keeps saying, "Who's your Daddy!" At least I'm not saying that to you!  Do you want me to be your Daddy?"

C: "No...I don't like it when lesbians call themselves "Daddy", it's kind of creepy."

Me: "There's also the whole "Mommy" thing."

C: "'Mommy' thing? What, those are the femme women?  Of course, k.d. would so be a top."

Me: "Ya, kind of, people who like "Mommy's" are into's kind of part of the whole BDSM community, in a way - an offshoot in some cases, I suppose."

C: "Huh. Well, you're not a're a Captain!  You're the Captain of the Dykes."

Me: "I am?  Nice!"

((note - I am also a huge gay boy, and most all my friends would attest to this))

C: (in her best gay boy accent) "No, honey, you're the Captain of the USS Queen!"

We both crack up at each ask other people have such random discussions with their partners while showering?  I sure hope so, because it does keep me in a rather good mood!


Lots to say...

...but, little time.  In "work mode", so have to go shower, go out to the PO to drop off packages and go get lunch.  Hopefully I will find some time to write something a bit later.  Got my stitches out, and am supposed to be heavily exercising my finger (too bad it's not the "Giving the Finger" finger!).  But, stories should abound this afternoon, I do hope.


Monday, June 27, 2011

The breakfast of Champions!

Short entry, as we have a lot to do today (namely, aside from a lot of business/work stuff, going to the doc about an hour away and hopefully getting 1) answers and 2) stitches out!).

Last night we had a lovely dinner of sauteed chicken breast over low-carb pasta with a from scratch Alfredo sauce, simply delicious; also a large salad (Caesar dressing, cheese, black olives, lettuce, low-carb garlic cracker things crunched into little tiny croutons).

After dinner, we decided to play some more cards, and drink a bottle of lovely wine that friends brought us from Missouri when they were visiting - excellent.  The background started out as "8-Track" on XM and then moved to "The Acoustic Storm" on our local 70's Rock station.  A small glass of cinnamon Bourbon finished off the night.  

No hang-overs this morning, just us up and ready to go...and, we seriously decided on breakfast as if we were 10 year old latch-key kids left to their own devices.  I give you, our meal:
I'm responsible for the "bologna boats" with extra sharp cheese, C made the low-carb tortilla's with cinnamon and Splenda, and the deviled eggs yesterday.  That's also iced-coffee.  Oh ya, 10 year old's on a caffeine high, here we go!!!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Wife, She is Amazing!

I've been accused of many things in my life, and wanting a housewife has actually been one of them.  Is it wrong, for a woman, to want a housewife?  Is this somehow wrong for me to want because I'm not interested in being with men on a daily life basis, and men are the creators of the "housewife"?  I don't think so, but I suppose others might think this.

My ex friend, who's now my exes partner of roughly 5 years, was actually the one who accused me of this as if it were the most unjust thing on the planet that I could request or wish for.  Mind you, I never asked my ex to be a housewife, I merely wanted her to do her half of the household chores, at least, since I kept up with all the bills, made sure we had things in order so we could function, and was starting up a business to help us eventually move to another area where she could be closer to her family (as this was all she seemed to want, and told me as much, during our relationship of over 9 years).  I would come home during my lunch breaks at an office job and do the dishes, clean up the kitchen, make things tidy, pay the bills, etc.  My ex would come home after a day at work and read...or find other fun things to do.  I'd try to find time to spend with her but she'd rather be doing her own thing.  Now, I'm sure you can already tell from here that the relationship was doomed by this point - and it did take quite a few years to get to this degree of self absorbency on her end, but it was there and it was obvious to not only me.

As things started to get harder for me to handle (full time job with a 45/min to an hour drive each way for work, as the job moved farther out, starting a small business and working that at night, still paying all the bills and doing housework and errands on the weekends), she started to move further and further away, and that's okay - life is what it is and deals you the hand you are dealt, how you play it is up to you.  Sometimes I'm a very stealthy Poker player and sometimes I honestly suck.  This is probably the reason I'm not wealthy.  LOL

The ex friend, who was a friend at the time, was actually "hired" to assist us in cleaning up the house over the course of a couple of days - she was out of work, and we both thought we were helping.  This, somehow, led to her telling me that all I wanted out of my ex was a housewife...and, after we were broken up she accused me of this again.  This once again brings me back to, is that so wrong to want?

I was just sitting here thinking about how wonderful C is to me.  She's making deviled eggs right now, she did laundry yesterday.  She takes care of the kitty boxes and vacuuming every other day.  She's been talked into (*wink wink*) making her famous Alfredo sauce to go with the chicken strips she's making today, and we'll have that with low-carb pasta and a salad tonight.  It's our day off, and she's busy doing household things, and she's happy doing that.

When I met C, she told me she was raised to be a housewife.  I told her I was raised to be a husband, the provider, to make sure all things were taken care of, the bills were paid on time, the family happy.  My mother, of course, wanted me to get married to a young man (any) who were in the religion I was raised and be an obedient housewife myself, but that was not me, and I knew that from a very, very early age.  I followed my father's lead, and to this day wish I would have learned more from him (in fixing cars, electrical repairs, etc. - the man is like MacGuyver, and can even cook and grow things!).  I did, however, follow in my mothers footsteps in the sense that she paid all the bills and had the business at home.  Hmmm...again, I'm proving that I'm a split of my folks.

Anyway, back to wives.  C also told me she wanted to be a housewife.  She preferred to work part time or stay at home and work, having the freedom to clean the house, take care of the children (and we have 5, at this point, none of them of the human kind), make meals, and be a good caregiver and solid ruler of the house.  She is just that...she does rule with an iron fist at times, and honestly I'm quite happy with that.  She is my June, and I'm happy to say I'm her Ward...and yes, one of our babies acts like The Beaver (we also have an Eddie Haskell).  

I love having a wife.  I love knowing, also, that if something happens to me things will get done!  I recently had surgery (my...4th in 2 years - ya, that's too many...), and I haven't been able to do as much as I'd like, and I'm constantly told to "not work so much, take it easy like the doctor said."  I know that if I do things will still get done, I don't have to worry about that.  THAT is amazing.

Sometimes I feel like I've got it easy - like I should be doing more than I am...and maybe I should be - but I hope that if I am slacking C will tell me.  She usually does.


A good chuckle for today

Ahhhhh...this is just what I needed to start my Sunday morning...a very good chuckle!

And to go along with this, let's add on a favorite, early video that always made me chuckle, too:

We're taking the day off...but, that doesn't mean I might not be back later, as C has been playing the new Infamous 2, so she might snag the PS3 before me.  LOL


Saturday, June 25, 2011


For some listening enjoyment, for a few minutes...nice background music on the topic.

It's raining today - this is the second day in a row we've gotten a little bit of rain.  That is a small miracle.  I was beginning to think I was transported to Arizona with humidity there, for awhile - everything has to be watered when it's like this (if you want it to NOT die, that is, including yourself).  It's nice, refreshing to have a little rain.

The area we live in keeps our car almost white with dust.  Our street gets grated every month or two.  It's very quiet out here when it rains...I like that.  Rain stops the 4-wheelers in their tracks.  The critters (squirrels, birds) are so happy it's raining they are staying out in it to forage.

This song, it reminds me of the solitude I'd feel in the cold rain in Oregon.  It's nice I can get that feeling back every once in awhile, almost on command.  This band, Concrete Blonde, is truly an all time favorite...and, they invoke a lot of memories for me.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Things sure do change...

Ahhhhh Portland, how do I miss you?  Let me count the ways...or just recollect about them, if nothing else.  

I miss the grungy areas of Portland, that have since been pushed out to the farm areas (and built up, ganged up, screwed up).  The first time I went back to you, in 1999, after 5 years away I hardly recognized you, what with a Mexican fast food chain restaurant on practically every corner...with my old ghetto-ized neighborhood all cleaned up and sparkling new with micro-breweries and cute little markets.  What happened to your character?  What's that you say?  You were whitewashed?  Ya, that doesn't surprise me...not at all.

So, thinking about My Portland, when living in {insert Elvis singing} The Ghetto, I did some pretty amusing things.  In a previous entry, you already know that I used to frequent the little dive store around the corner...I also went to this corner to a little music shop that was there for a brief amount of time (now it appears a Nails store is there - how exciting) Music Store Spot - the first time I went in I asked if they had "the new MC Pooh" (aka Pooh-Man) - after a couple of quizzical looks from the guys in the store they said, "ya, we gots that, you wants it?"  Of course I wanted that damn tape, otherwise WTF would I be doing in that dinky little African American owned and operated music store in North Portland?  Happily on my way with my new tape, I then went to the little liquor store across the street.  More odd stares, but no one bothered me (though I did get a couple of nods) and off I went home with my cheap vodka (I'm sure) and music.  Oh hell ya!  Only thing that might have made it better was a stop at the Discount Hostess store...maybe I went there too?

My neighborhood was cool, for me at least.  Here's a pic of the house one street burnt down, obviously:

I know I have pictures somewhere of my old place, but I'll have to find them...they're probably lost in a box.  The house above, the story is that the guy who lived there fell asleep while smoking a cigarette (on his couch) - oops.

Now, this neighborhood was amusing for several reasons - aside from the fact we were in an odd pocketed corner, we really did have the makings of a good movie of the times.  My landlord (okay, it was Mississippi, then Michigan, then Missouri, where I lived) was a gay man with gay man tastes and a penchant for NOT fixing anything he rented out.  He owned at least 6 other properties aside from his own, including 4 on my street, and his and another on Michigan (where the burnt down house was - it was a couple doors down from him).  Having a gay man living in the neighborhood meant he'd rent to whomever was colorful and would put up with his bullshit.  This included, but was of course not limited to:

1) Nan - old roommate - a story of how I ended up there in her house that she rented from my landlord will come in the future.

2) The house 2 doors down that I eventually moved to (and Nan eventually dated Jill, who lived in that house at the time with Maria who was a member of the band The Cunts).

3) The house next door to that, of which an older lady lived in and Echo, who was Ms. Leather - Portland (or something close to this title) in the early '90's.

4) The house across the street from that, where a "woman in her '80's" lived - Mark said he bought her a bottle of bourbon each week and took it to her - she never got out of the house and had someone else bring in her groceries. addition to this assortment was Lizzy Black, the lead singer of The Cunts and also a leather dildo maker who owned two large Dobermans.  I'm pretty sure she owned this house (she lived on the corner of Michigan).

As you are surely gathering, the neighborhood was interesting.  Between the first house I lived in and the next house I lived in (and last, but I started in the basement and moved up to the main part over time) there was a family who rented and almost set their house on fire by leaving the stove on one to the first house on the other side was a family who had a crack-head son in his 30's.  He was told he couldn't do any drugs by mom/dad if we was going to live there (and was on parole, etc., etc. - he was always high), he'd hide his drugs in a plumbing pipe that wasn't in use outside...I'd see him get them when he though no one was looking.  He also constantly had used stereo equipment he was trying to sell me cheap - I had to keep telling him I didn't have a stereo so why would I need speakers?  Oh, of course then he'd say he could find me some stereo equipment for the speakers if I'd just buy them.  Ya, no thanks.  

I loved living was cheap and interesting and full of character.  I'd walk to the bus stop a few blocks away and take the bus into my downtown Portland job.  I lived very close to The White Eagle, which was a biker bar, primarily that was thought to be haunted (and now I think the hotel is much trendier that's on top of it), and near the Widmer

I was also close to the grain silo's where they'd bring in vessels of grain, and railroad tracks - two of my other loves.  I was smitten with my little pocket of ghetto-fantasticalness, and I miss it deeply.

Not that you can see it, but the house I lived in secondly is here and the first one a couple down is here - mind you, that one looks completely appears some major work has been done on it (including an added basement ::scratches head::).  Here's a recent picture of The White Eagle that I stood kitty corner from talking on a payphone.  This whole area is nice now...most of the beautiful desolation is gone.

I miss those times - they were quieter in my head.  Things were simpler in some ways and much, much more dramatic in others, but maybe that's what made it so damn sweet.


Los Angeles, the apartment building

Irolo St. Apartment

Link above takes you to the apartment I lived in while in L.A. at first (the one with 6 of us at one point, with CE, MJ, JZ, etc.).  Just in case you're curious to explore the area, now you can. 

Nothing more exciting about this, at this time, I'm afraid.


Living in the projects, who me? ::winks::

Today, a friend commented on my living in the "projects" - of course, a white girl would NEVER live in the projects, would she?  Well, not a white girl from Oregon, I suppose.  Unless, of course, you're me.  ;-)  No, of course I didn't live in the typical projects you all are probably thinking of, "Cabrini-Green", "Robert Taylor Homes", "South Central L.A.", hoodville's.  And, to be honest, there was really only, technically, one true "projects" that I knew of in Portland, but to me it's not just about the building - it's about the atmosphere, the people, the community (good and bad) of the area that makes it "The Projects".

Ask anyone who knew me from "back in the day" and they'll tell you that where I lived in North Portland was not exactly the nicest part of town.  We lived on the edge of the Rolling 60's (Crips, and now not sure what territory they have...) - they tagged about 2 blocks away from us on a regular basis - right by where I caught the bus in the morning to go to work. Also, the Unthank Park Hustlers (Bloods) had territory that was close to the edge that the Crips would claim - I think that this was more of a battle line than anything.  The UPH claimed territory from NE Tillamook up to NE Shaver, and I-5 over to MLK Jr. Blvd.  Technically, we should have been in their territory, but the 60's territory started around Shaver, I think - thus, the reason we probably saw both sets of action and had so many problems (there was also the Irving City Park, not far away, that also boasted a large amount of UPH).  The one good thing is that I don't think my friends ever really knew we were that close to "gang activity", unless I pointed it out.  When they heard gunshots I'd write it off as not a big issue, just someone doing "something stupid".  AO moved into the area, and as far as I know she never had any major issues.  The story of how I got into that area,  though, is worthy of a whole other entry.  

A little back-story on me, that I haven't already mentioned.  I became fascinated with "The Ghetto" as a child.  Poverty, despair, degradation, gangs, territory, community and lack thereof, drugs, etc. - all of it.  I breathed it in and it felt like a crisp winter morning inside my mind.  Why?  I'm not sure, but I'll also freely admit that Genocide in history and, separately, WWII Nazism on the Sociological aspect of how it affected the people of Germany fascinates me to no end.  Growing up, I loved watching Good Times (and The Jefferson's, even though they moved out of "The Ghetto"), and now as an adult own the series (or at least most of both).  When I met CW and took a trip to Chicago in 1991 I was thrilled at her stories of Chicago Gangland Lore, and the fact that I could see the Cabrini-Green buildings from the top of the John Hancock building.  Amazing.  I lived in a couple of scary areas in L.A. and loved it, so it only made sense, somehow, that in 1991 I'd end up in North Portland and stay there until I moved in 1994.  To me, that was home.  I also fail to mention, TL and I would drive around in her red truck, in known Blood territory, at night, looking for boarded up crack houses (she was, at the time, studying drugs and drug abuse in college and found this stuff just as fascinating as I did) - oh, and she insisted we leave the dome light on so that "everyone will see we're white girls and not gang bangers!  I don't want them shooting up my pretty truck!"

As for living there, I loved it.  I should write an entry about some of my experiences there, as they're highly amusing, to say the least.  I managed to talk a bunch of people into moving into that little pocket with me (we abutted I-5 on a corner - this area, by the way, is now very upscale, trendy, different from the solitude I used to feel in this neighborhood).

To continue on with the ghetto theme of my neighborhood, here's a picture of a church that I recall was pretty close to where we lived (this is UPH territory), and following that is the Hostess store that I used to go to that wasn't that far away:

Oh, and an exciting internet find for me - the market you see in this picture below (on the left, past the abandoned building) was literally about 2 blocks away from where I was living.  This was on Mississippi and about a block off Fremont.  I would go in there and buy chips and such...the black guys always looked at me a little funny, but I think they respected that I didn't have any issue with supporting their business.  The place was dinky, always had a bunch of guys hanging around inside doing nothing, talking, sporting colors (red), but it was all good...the pocket we were in was insanely odd, to say the least.

So, that's just a little back-drop to things to come - but, it's a start of information, I suppose.  This entry took kind of a different route than I wanted it to, but here it is!

Additionally, in Los Angeles, the second place I lived was here - the link far below should take you to the street address directly, and it's the apartment complex there next to the parking lot.  If you pull out on the map and look around you'll see how close we were to South Central and to the famed "L.A. River".

Enjoy, and I should be back later with more...of course.  I think I need to expand here on my time there.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

L.A. and hair, baby!

I cannot believe I let CE do this to me, but I did (that's B in the background, btw, in his amazingly late 80's coiffed hair and outfit - trust me, the belt was a skinny patent leather belt with some lizard raising on it, and shoes to match the times - ya, he was trendy).

This is me, but if you know me now, you'd probably never recognize this as me (unless you really know me well, LOL)...let's put it this way, if you saw me on the street today, and this picture was what you had in your head?  Ya, not so much.

Anyway, I was thinking to myself, "why in the world am I so fixated on writing about Los Angeles and my time there?"  I think, aside from what I've already written, it's definitely because of the change I experienced while there - inside and out.  This picture does not define how I looked at all, but it shows I was trying different things out...oh, I should dig up the picture of what I let TL do to me - that's even more amusing (and Robert Palmer back up singer-ish).  I'll write about that one another time, but, for now, enjoy the pic, and know that the grimace on my face is pretty accurate to how I felt about this "change" CE did.  She, by the way, was thrilled with the, not so much.  Though, I will admit this hair style kind of reminds me of some Julie Cypher pics I've seen in the past (that's Melissa Etheridge's ex, for those of you not in the loop about lesbian icons).  LOL  Yep, that hair was definitely late 80's.  

I actually went out in public like this, to a straight club, too.  Oh, the horrors!


Cat had my tongue, for a few minutes...

I have a lot of things buzzing around in my head today, but none of them really seem to want to take to the page, so to speak.  Well, at least that's what I think - we'll see what comes of this piece, today.

I was sitting around, playing Bejeweled 3, because I have a hand injury and I'm not supposed to be doing a whole lot right now due to a surgery I had a week ago.  So, I'm typing a lot?  Ya, that's about right.  I seem to be thinking a lot while playing that mindless game - it's kind of calming.  Could it possibly be that a simple computer game has been giving me Zen-like peace of mind, or allowing me to think about things in the past and rectify, resolve and relive some things?  Maybe...or, it could be the fact that I've been given a gift of almost a week off from thinking, eating, living, breathing my business.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still actively involved in what's going on, I mean how could I not be with it in my house?  But, I'm not being allowed to do a lot of the work I usually do because of the stitches and such - and needing to keep my hand elevated for 80% of the day, etc., etc.  It's actually been rather, surprisingly, nice.  I feel like I'm decompressing for the first time in years.  I'm incredibly blessed to be with an amazing woman who can step up to the plate and handle things...and I hope she realizes this (and I do tell her).


Today, I learned, once more and even more so than before, that while I may be my mother's child, I truly didn't know who she was.  Her layers were more hidden than mine - at least with me if you dig a little, or even just ask you might learn something about me...but, with her, she was like Fort Knox.

My mother passed away on February 15th of this year in her mid-60's.  For the past few years she's been loopier than usual, but most of what she said, up until the middle of last year, you could actually accept as probably true (based on how she conceived the truth, that is).  She told me, before this time, that the only reason they moved to Florida from Oregon is because of my father, and because HE wanted to see me more often, and that it was really, quite frankly, pissing him off that he never saw me and I never came over.  I found that a bit hard to believe, and figured there was more to it than that, but just kind of shrugged it off like so many other random things she's told me in the past that didn't quite make sense...keeping it in my back pocket for the future, should I need it.

Today, my father stopped by.  We were talking about the horrid weather we're having here and how he wished he were still in Oregon.  He then informed me the only reason they moved to Florida was because my mother was convinced she would, "never see her again" and "then she started crying, so we moved."  I told dad what mom said, and his reply was, "well, I'm glad she told you because I had no clue that's how I felt!"

...yet again, another shining example of my mother having her own little secrets from people.  She didn't want anyone to know her - and I think that is because she was afraid if you did know her you could use it against her.  In fact, I'm fairly certain that is the issue (or, was the issue, I suppose).  My uncle is "an asshole", and he "used things against" my mom to make her feel "like shit" (her words about him, exactly).  I agree, he is an asshole, but he tries, sort of, to be decent and nice.  Mom was overly sensitive, and always had been, and anything that wasn't in her mind benefiting her in some way was obviously against her.  That included her husband, her child, even her cats.  She used to cry when she'd be upset about something (either something I did or my father yelling at her about something) and repeat over and over, "everything is my fault...the whole world is my fault...everything that happens is all my fault!"  I'm amazed she lasted as long as she did with that attitude...yet, if you saw her out, saw her at church, saw her socially she was great!  Her friends loved her, and I found out, upon her dying, just how much everyone really, truly appreciated her as a person.  It made me feel good to know that people cared that much about her, but I wish she could have opened up a bit and given some of that back to me, her kid, instead of hiding it all these years.

Of mother told me once that it was my fault that our relationship was as it was.  First, it was obvious it was my fault (without her telling me this) because I was no longer in the religion (or any) that I was raised in and was living a life of sin.  But...she told me in her own words that when I was about 13 I told her to just "leave me alone" and she informed me that when I told her that, she decided to do just that, and left me alone.  She said she assumed I didn't want to have anything to do with her anymore, so that was that.  

...ummm ...leave her alone ...I was only 13 years old!, that's why, after almost 30 years I still didn't know my mother.  But, I knew enough to send her a program from when I moved to Florida and was listed in a Writers Night as a reader of some original poetry with a note that said, "now you can finally be proud of me."  Ya, I knew enough to send her that...and, she knew enough to tuck it away in a drawer, and dad knew enough to bring it over to me a couple of weeks ago.  I guess in the end, even though I didn't know her, she was proud of me in her own, simple way.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

...past, present - reset?

Once upon a time...isn't that how all good fables go?  I was once "I am a writer, therefore I write", to the point of having it engraved on a watch...that I carried with me...because I was.  I guess in some respects it reminded me that while I always had time, I also always wrote.

On a plane trip back from San Diego to Portland I wrote over 13 pieces, in a row, about my experience there.  I say "over 13" as I know it was at least this many, but forget the total amount.

I've got quite a book of what I "used to do"...and now, what do I do?  I write a lot, in my head.  I'm still trying to find my mojo, or what was, I guess.  I'm not sure of what I still have and what has been lost over the years, but one thing is for sure - I'm going to keep writing for myself and keep at it because I feel I need to.

One week ago I was ready to toss it ALL in...everything, just give it up.  Now?  I feel a lot better...I feel cleaner, calmer, more ready to face each day.  Could be partially from having a mass amount of time off due to a finger injury (and yet, I'm still typing), and another aspect I'd reasonably argue with anyone is that it's because I'm allowing all this built up sludge to finally, slowly ease on out.

Things are good in the world when you are allowed to express yourself - when YOU allow yourself to express what it is you need to.

Tectonic plate movement is something we all experience within ourselves.  Little earthquakes come and go inside, and they warn of an impending larger shift - that's what I'm feeling.  I'm okay with's the acceptance of that which keeps us moving forward, always looking for safer land.

To be honest, one of the major reasons I left my home state of Oregon was to get away from just that.  The constant tremors I was my life, and the ones I knew were coming.  Waking up to a small 5.3 in Oregon, compared to sleeping through one similar in Los Angeles really made me realize this even more - and at the time, over 17 years ago, I decided that I could live with hurricanes more easily because I could plan for a hurricane - you can't plan for earthquakes.  Yet, I will also admit that those earthquakes are what kept me hungry, wanting, singing, feeling.  I've been stifling that for a bit too long, I'm afraid, and now I'm ready for it.

Bring it on, world.  I've had my fill of pain in the last couple of years, and I think I'm finally ready to accept the fact that it's something I've had to face.  Reality is here, and I'm listening.  Ya, it's about damn time.


Lost Angeles...misplaced, maybe?

Back in 1988, when I was much younger, I moved to Los Angeles (you can see a picture in the previous entry...and, I'll see what else I can dig up for this one).  I lived there for a little over 6 months, in two different places.  One off Irolo St. which bordered the Korean Police station and Mexican gangs.  After a few months, we moved to S. Hope St. (14th, I think), next to the California Hospital Medical Center, right on the edge of downtown, the L.A. River and the jewelry district. 

I worked at The Wherehouse for a number of months, made some interesting friends, and generally got by on practically nothing.

I remember going next door to the "Happy Bowl" style quickie food place and ordering a bowl of rice for long as I had the full $1.07 I needed to buy it.  I ate a lot of's really about all I could afford on $4.25/hr for 20/hrs (if I was lucky) a week.  I couldn't afford a soda, and I think they used to charge for cups for water, too.

I saw a lot of interesting things in Los Angeles, and experienced an amazing amount of life in such a short period of time, but I was happy living and going out and being somewhere different.  Some stories I might just cover in more detail, but here's a Cliff notes version of my 6 months:

  • Lived in a 1-bedroom apartment with 3, then 5 other people.
  • Lived in a studio apartment with 2 other people.
  • Moved down to Los Angeles in my folks' truck with a friend from High School (who was along for the ride), and he ended up getting 2nd degree burns on the move down.
  • Same friend got in a car wreck in the same vehicle with my mom when she took the truck back home.  He swore he'd never ride in a car with my family again.
  • Had a job at a "Everything's $10" store as a 3rd key manager, for about 5 days.
  • Worked at The Wherehouse.
  • Dated a man from Nicaragua (who moved to NYC as a teen) - he was black, built like a football player and had a lovely Spanish accent.
  • Slept with a Hispanic guy down the street from me.
  • Dated a guy who was twice my age that knew Marla Gibbs and thought I should try out for some comedy night she had there, as he told me, "Black folks will think you're hilarious, you got a black soul, girl."
  • Got into a wreck.
  • MJ's car got broken into.
  • Got locked out of the 2nd place we lived for a couple nights (we weren't supposed to be living there).
  • Went on my first roller coaster ride, which ended up with us going on it literally 20 times.
  • Saw George Michael twice in concert.
  • Saw Martin L. Gore walking down the street on Melrose.
  • Got mistaken for a celebrity, a prostitute, and a street kid.
  • Got followed for shoplifting (pretty much all over).
  • Made some amazing friends...many of which I still wonder what happened to them.
  • Met TL, a best friend to this day.
  • Watched The Sound of Music, Friday the 13th, Phantasm and Halloween all for the first time in my life.
  • Got invited to my first "underground" party, and thankfully didn't go as I would have been introduced to cocaine, among other things (and I think I would have loved it).
  • Was asked on a weekly basis if I wanted to sell my 1972 Pinto (yes, I'm serious).
  • Found myself while being a bit lost.
Needless to say, there's a lot more...but, that's the initial memory bank I have.

Life was hard for those months, but it was worth every second of it, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Experience becomes that when you allow it to change you, to make you stronger and better...if you don't, it's just another day, in my book.

To old "Gay Video Manager" at my job - I loved this guy.  If you know who he is, drop me a line.  LOL 


My view, my L.A.

The view from my street (Irolo St.), off the balcony - the small 1-br we lived in, before moving to a studio apartment in Downtown (with 3 of us).

Stealing Vases...the BK way!

I first met TL via RC via MJ...that is to say, RC called MJ while we were living in Los Angeles and asked him if her friend, TL, could stay with us a night as evidently the hotel she was staying in was filled with cheerleaders and they couldn't leave the day they were supposed to - so, incoming folks had to find another place to stay.  Figures, doesn't it? 

TL was in Los Angeles for some sort of symposium.  She had 3.5/yrs of college under her belt and was insistent on becoming a movie producer of some sort...that is until she went to Los Angeles and realized that this wasn't going to be a possible dream anytime in the near future.  She quit school, left her dream and moved back home to the middle of farmland Oregon.  Of course, before all this happened, I met her that night, while she shared a piece of floor with myself and 3 others.  Our "apartment-mates", B & CE, rented the place MJ and I were staying, and my best friend JZ had moved in with her boyfriend (now husband of 20+ years and 3 kids).  B & CE are another story, but for now the important information is that they had the 1 bedroom (which also contained the bathroom, so you had to hope they weren't having sex if you had to use it), and we all had the small floor of about 300 square feet. there were 5 for a night.  Because of space issues, TL and I took off and went out to get coffee or some such and we instantly hit it off.  When I moved back from L.A. the following year we started to hang out incessantly.  We were pretty much inseparable.

When I first went to TL's place, her parents huge, finished basement with 2 full rooms, she showed me 1) her massive shoe collection (literally she'd put Carrie on Sex and the City to shame), and 2) her Burger King Vases collection.  Yes, you read that correctly; Burger King Vases.  Did you know that Burger Kings used to have vases on each table?  I think that TL is probably the reason they don't anymore.  She had at least 30 of them sitting out, and had little labels on the bottom as to where each one came from.

Of course I inquired about these, and from then on every time we'd go out to do something and saw a Burger King, and actually wanted food from there, we'd have to go in and she'd steal another vase.  She did have a rather large purse, and I was quite impressed with her stealth and ability to walk out of the restaurant with the vase, water and flowers all tucked secretly away.  It kind of reminded me of my grandmother at buffet restaurants tucking half eaten chicken into greasy, semi-used white napkins into her purse for later meals.

One day TL informed me that she had a goal...the grandest, biggest heist she could pull:  The Burger King on Broadway in downtown Portland had inside camera's!  TL told me that if she could get one from this location, it would be the finality to her collection - the best piece she would have - the most dangerous, the most sought after.  So, of course we devised a plan.

Now, I'll freely admit, TL and I did some pretty crazy crap back in they day - we were two peas in a wacky pod, so stealing a vase from a Burger King with camera's installed didn't seem all that odd...well, at least no odder than stealing a full set of silverware from Denny's over the years (TL was working on the other table items when I met her).

Unfortunately for this story, stealing the vase from Burger King was almost a little too easy.  We waited, watched the camera's, watched all the people staring at us (it was night, not the best part of town, we didn't quite fit in), and she lifted the vase.  We left quickly, laughing all the way to the car...and, that was that.  She finally hung up her vase stealing hat for bigger and better things, like sugar holders, salt and pepper shakers, and the like.  But, it was the pride factor that she had - over 40 vases in all.  To my recollection, shortly after this Burger King abruptly stopped having vases on tables...and again, I swear it's all TL's doing.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Recession Proof, My Ass!

Sooooooooo many friends right now are so disgusted with life, it's kind of amazing.  Just yesterday I was to the point where I honestly was saying to myself, "I just don't give a shit anymore, and I don't really care that I don't give a shit anymore.  Fuck."  That's just how crappy things have been - I'd bet anyone reading this is probably feeling it.

Once upon a time, my grandmother told me, "AA, you need to make sure you save your money and spend it wisely, because while it might not be in my lifetime, very soon you'll go through a Great Depression again - I know it will happen, history repeats itself, just you wait and see."  She said this about 20 years ago to me, and she's right.  While we're not all in total belief that we're in "The Great Depression" as happened earlier in the last Century, if we stop and look at it, that's really where we're at - we just have more crap to keep us occupied while we deal with it.  We have more responsibilities.  We have more reasons.  We have more thoughts...more likes and dislikes...we're more complex, and it's harder to unravel like it used to be.

"Back in the day" of the Great Depression, things were simpler.  You worked, you bought your food - everything wasn't overly processed and doubly advertised.  You probably weren't on more than one or two meds (if that) for anything major, and minor stuff you just pulled up your bootstraps and dealt with.  Depression?  Figure it out, deal with it, lean on your family, accept it and move on.  Times will get better.  We had a war, it brought people together.  People could focus on something else, TOGETHER.

Are we at the point of no return?  War used to bring people together because it had to, and now it pulls us all apart (ever since the Korean War, I think this has been historically true, for the United States, at least).  We don't work together on any common goals.  We act as if we don't care - and those of us that have been positive have started to drop down the rungs into negativity land where we're just not happy at all.  AT ALL.  That is depressing.  We need hope and change and all the crap Obama was spouting during his campaign - but, we can't afford it, mentally.

I was thinking about this the other day, actually:  While we might not be in a "Great Depression" in the financial sense (there's still food on most tables at night, we're not eating bread and ketchup because it's all we can afford, there's still food in the grocery stores being bought and gas in the tanks of our cars, even if it costs more, and most all of us have a cell phone, for Christ sakes, AND, obviously, Internet), we have, as a total population and society, landed into what I would consider the Great Mental Depression.  Think about how you feel, even though you might have enough to get by...are you honestly happy?  Probably not.  

C and I were discussing some things over lunch today.  It's quite amazing how different life is now compared to how it was just 30 years ago, when she was a kid.  Back in "those days", if a kid was out of line in the grocery store a parent could smack them without being afraid the cops would be called - because the kid was out of line and needed to be smacked so they understood that wasn't acceptable behavior around a group of people.  Now?  Put the kid on drugs, they're acting up.  What kind of b.s. is that, honestly?  In the 80's we raised kids who wanted nothing more than MORE STUFF, and it's continued on, and we all see it - and now, we're drugging our kids because they mentally can't handle more stuff.  Neither can we.  How the fuck are we, as a society, going to handle ourselves in 20 years if everyone is drugged up and afraid to go outside?  We're not...but, that might be a good thing.  If we stay in this deep depression we're all in, if we keep drugging ourselves into oblivion, and stay in more (as we all seem to be doing) things will have to calm down.  Society is slowing down in some respects because, let's face it, we've all had enough!  That's a good thing.  Let's hope that the world calms down because if it doesn't, we're honestly all screwed.

While part of me misses living in a larger city (I'm now in a rural part of the country), I don't miss all the bullshit that goes with it.  I can be by myself, or with a limited number of other people, and do just fine.  Sure, there are a lot of people out here that aren't too swift, but they've got something going on most others in larger areas don't: manners and respect.  If you respect them, they leave you alone...just like a bee.  People used to be like Honeybee's, now they've turned into Yellow Jackets.  Sad to think about, isn't it?  Honeybee's do good work...we used to do good work, too.  Granted, there is still a good population of them out there, but we're dropping fast.

My grandmother was right, she just didn't realize it was going to be more than just a money issue...and, money can be fixed - it's harder to correct the emotional tide of sorrow.


AH, where are you now?

In my last post, I was talking about "A.H." - I'll lose the periods from here-on out.

AH...she was...let me think...class of '92, we dated in '91, so she must have been around 17 - I think her birthday was in October, and we might have actually started dating right before her 17th birthday.  Ya, I was 21...but, I came out of the closet about 4 months before my 21st birthday, so in a way I was very new to dating.  

I didn't date in high school to speak of...I did "see" guys, but we never dated, and it was generally never anyone that I went to school with - and if I did?  Oh hell no, no one would ever know.  Their choice and mine.  I was raised in a strict religion, and dating someone "outside" of the "church" was strictly forbidden...hell, having sex with said boys was grounds for being ousted (at least temporarily), and I kept that on the D.L. also.  

When I "came out of the closet" at the age of 20, my first girlfriend showed me the way of the woman...well, of the hippie, druggie, granola lesbian, at least.  Being incredibly naive in many ways, I really had no clue that "Ch" was a big ol' druggie...though, after sharing 23 bottles of beer with her, and my being sick for 2 days and her feeling GREAT the next day, that really should have tipped me off, don't you think?

Anyhow, back to AH...she was one of a string of ladies that I dated - many of them younger than me.  I'll have to do a little chart so that anyone who reads can keep up.  LOL  She was cute, very sweet, and I was absolutely smitten with her.  She lived alone with her dad (I can't recall what happened to her mom - she never really spoke about it), and I'd go and pick her up after school or on the weekends and we'd go out for coffee, or to dinner, or just to "hang out".  I think she's the one who introduced me to "Chili-Mac" - I'd never thought to put a can of chili in with mac & cheese before - and it was glorious, of course.  Even more so since she made it.  LOL

We dated least a couple of months.  I was the consummate gentleman with her, and recall asking her if I could kiss her before actually attempting to do so.  She said yes, by the way.  I really adored her to little bits, as I've said, but I didn't see this going anywhere.  She was quite happy to admit that she was bi-sexual, and that she was equally interested in possibly dating men in the future, and that didn't quite jive with me or my sensibilities.  I was raised to "date to marry" and that's technically what I was doing, in my head at least.  I wanted someone I could be with, and I wasn't interested in going out after sex all willy-nilly like many folks were.  That wasn't my thing...companionship, enjoying life with someone, that made more sense to me - and the sex aspect, that was just a benefit if you found someone you fit with.  

I did date, quite a bit, and no I didn't have sex with everyone I dated (AH was one of whom this never got to that point).  Unfortunately, I told her one night that I didn't think it was going to work - for us to keep seeing each other.  She was still young, not sure what she wanted out of life, and wandering in her own sense.  I was too...but, didn't realize it yet.  To be honest, I don't know too many folks in their 20's that really figure it out - they think they have, we all do/did, but then when you hit your 30's you realize you didn't have it figured out in your 20's, and in your 40's, I'm finding, your 30's were almost your start of understanding things a bit clearer.  I'll be interested to see what my 50's bring, assuming I make it there.

...after watching the VHS tape I spoke about in the last entry, I was trying to remember AH's last name, and it finally just came to me out of the blue - I hadn't been able to remember it in, literally, years.  I Googled her, Facebooked her, etc. - and all I could find was:  no Google hits except a search service and no social website hits, either.  I recalled her dad's name was John, and found his info - and it appears he lives on the same street (I know the area), I did find that she evidently moved to Seattle and Spokane, WA at some point - and the age is right for the info that popped up for free, so I know she's been out there.  Never married?  Unsure...still gay or bi?  Who can say.  I do remember hearing from a friend one time that she worked at Blockbuster by Fred Meyers on Broadway (NW), and I called up the store to talk to her.  She was less than interested, really - partially I'm sure because she was at work.  I think I called to tell her I was moving to another state...I can't recall exactly as it's been so long ago, but that IS the last time I ever spoke with her.

I still wonder what happened to her - where her life took her - how things worked out for her.

I've found quite a few old friends on FB, and it's been interesting to reconnect.  However, it's very refreshing to be able to recount some stories here without them knowing about it.  I'm being incredibly honest, too, which I'm finding quite cleansing for my soul.


Watching myself almost 20 years later...

The other day, whilst having some Evan Williams and Pepsi, at the request of my partner ("C"), I pulled out an old VHS tape and popped it in.  Among the oddball items there was one bright spot, me almost 20 years ago, videotaped by friends in downtown Portland off Stark Street.  Well, it was bright for the time, I suppose - my glasses and shirt were highly dated to the early 90's, the sound was horrible, but getting to see myself all these years later was, quite honestly, nothing short of thought provoking.

It's night, I'm a young dyke with a short stylish haircut, toothpick hanging out of my mouth, and a bit cocky.  I should also mention the Harry Potter glasses...I was cool before he was.  (LOL)  I'm being interviewed by friends for a "trip video" they're doing of their journey to find k.d. lang, of all things (er, people).  JG is an amazing 50 something woman, and the other friend is from the bulletin boards we all were a part of back then.  They were doing a documentary, actually, and the balance of the tape is a lot of them driving up to Vancouver, B.C. looking for where Ms. lang lived, while listening to the album "Ingenue".  I'm much more entertaining than that was, I'm afraid.

It was fun to watch with C, but it got me thinking, and actually brought me down a bit.  I was once cute, ambitious, had a slight swagger, and really enjoyed myself.  Now?  I'm self admittedly at least 100 pounds heavier, not half as cute, less cocky, and while I still use toothpicks, I'm actually quite polite with that aspect now.  I guess, though, I can point out that while the "cockiness" has left, that was a maturity factor - now I'm confident, and I'll take that over cocky any day of the week, thank you very much.

This process of self discovery is what really started me thinking about everything - wondering where I'm going versus where I've been, and what I might have learned or gleaned from experience along the way.  Experience, in my life, is not lacking in the least.  I'll freely admit that I was once a self described "mental masochist" (and some of those stories I will probably get into), and I've never been afraid to take on all that life has handed me in the emotional and mental context.  Physically, that's another story, and one that is much, much shorter.

Going back to the video tape - the interview was short, for the most part.  I need to burn it off onto DVD and then get some sort of software to help me clean it up (the outside noise is horrid - it wasn't this bad years ago, but I think as VHS players have progressed, and the tapes have digressed, it's affected things that I'm hoping can be patched, if nothing else).  As I was standing there on the street, I was being asked about my "love of all things k.d.", and honestly denying that I was obsessed.  I truly wasn't...enthralled, appreciative, enthusiastic, absolutely - but, never would I become the stalker that many others followed suit with - for me, celebrities are just people with different crap in the public eye - and I don't wish to add to that.  As I'm telling JG that people told me I resembled the adorable crooner, and her telling me "I just don't see it", A.H. showed up across the street. 

Ahhhh...A.H....she was a cutie.  I'll have to write a following entry about her, definitely, as there's more to this thought process than I care to fill this entry with.

Anyhow, A.H. came along, un-staged, totally unexpected, and I hadn't seen her in months.  She exuberantly explained to JG that while I was driving her down Broadway one night she looked over and was suddenly like, "Oh my God, I'm in the car with k.d.!  Just drop me off at that Taco Bell, k.d., thanks for the ride!"  LOL  That was amusing, and just what they needed for their documentary that never quite saw the light of day (and ended up in my possession for many years to come).  C said to me, "she was cute, what happened?"  I explained, briefly, that I broke up with her.  Thus, another entry all about A.H. will be coming.  She was cute, so was I...and I started thinking, "ya, AA, what happened?"

Life Happened

I was discovering myself, and all the layers to myself peeling off slowly, kind of like the onion that I loathe.  I was figuring life out - all that was out there was huge and amazing on many levels, and I still didn't know how to swim in the sea with all the mermaids being present - yes, they kept me off kilter much like a pirate.  Some even said I was a pirate, "always out for booty", but that wasn't me - I had the player persona, I suppose, but in my mind I was only trying to make things work and make others happy while still being true to myself.  Ya, that didn't work.  I'm lucky, honestly, that many of my friends are still my friends after all these years - quite a few of them dated me, and that wasn't always an easy, or heart-safe task.

In short...that video made me think...about what was, what could have been, and the path's that I chose through these years I've lived so far.

I'll be honest, I was a little glum after watching it.  ...This morning, C told me, while laying next to me in bed, "you know what?  I was thinking about you in that video, and you now, and honestly, I like the you now better.  You're cuter, you're more beautiful, and the years have been good to you.  You were young and a bit cocky, and now you're older and more sure."  She's right, you know.  I am more confident - I can admit that without needing the self assurance of others.  Sometimes, though, you just need a little nudge to realize that what you knew all along was what is really true, and that the past is the past and only helps to shape your future.

-AA has to start somewhere.

So, here I am, typing out my thoughts.  Exciting, no?  Well, maybe not so much, we'll see.

To be honest, I feel the urge to write again.

A little about me, since I'm Anonymously Anonymous - and this might take away a bit of that animosity you might be feeling right now:

...I once considered myself a writer, and I technically still do.  I find that she's often a bit lost - especially since relationships and life have really taken it's toll on me.  I guess I'll have to see for myself what comes of this and what wishes to present itself.

...I work from home - quite happily most of the time, but it's rather solitary, even with having a partner living and working along side me and a bunch of critters that complete the family.

...I have had an interesting life, and I find that having reached a "milestone" (in many people's lives, they're afraid of the "big four-oh"), and lived a bit past it that I'm reflecting on pieces of my life and trying to figure out how the puzzle all fits together.  I've always known, to some degree, how it works, but now I feel like writing a bit of it down.  Thus, the blog, I suppose.

...I've written before, and will most likely write again.  If you actually know who I am, bravo for figuring it out...or, maybe not, if you're from my past and you're having to read my memories about us.

...I collect things.

...I love cheese, alcohol and figuring out people - not necessarily in that order.

...I adore baseball.  I was once a big basketball fan, but baseball has always been my first love.  I grew up in a state that didn't have baseball (only pro basketball, I'm afraid), but that didn't stop me from becoming a huge fan.  If I find something I truly love in my soul, I tend to stick with it through thick and thin.  I'm rather dog-like in that respect, even though I consider myself a cat person.

...I hope to continue in writing this - and, if I get a few followers/readers, I just might.  I do quite well with audiences.  Back in the day, the audience (my friends), who would oogle over what I wrote really kept me going - it still does.

I'll leave this first entry as-is, and start actually forming some thoughts for something else.