Lots of posts about people all scaredy-catted to go see the new Stephen King It flick- me, I just feel like I’m off to visit an old friend. Count it a character flaw, a vice- trash in, trash out- yet still I view. Here’s a timely shadow found on my sister’s car seat formed from the sticker plastered on the window. For those in the know, it’s more than legible. ♦
It came for me in the night with a quick leap and a light landing on the hood of my car. Its gaze fixed, intent on its prey, it made its way up the windshield glass headed for the open sunroof.
*swiftly turns knob to close roof window*
Playing on old fears that once ran rampant, my pulse quickened as it padded back and forth along the sunroof, beginning to mew repetitively, poking at the glass with a front paw and butting a nose quizzically against the pane. All that could be seen were glowing eyes the color of honey against inky black fur all but blocking out any light from the carport ceiling above. Minutes passed and the thing made its way back down the windshield, only to turn and sit, staring at me intently. I moved to open the door and it leapt down to greet me, trying to jump inside. I closed the door and waited, wondering why this unknown creature of night so intently needed to be near me and I fought thoughts of Stephen King’s The Cat From Hell knowing full well just how near that particular one wished to be.
Feeling fairly trapped, I threw open the door to get on with it, standing up to find this feline sitting near the adjacent car’s back tire still mewing continually and, frankly, looking adorable. As I began walking, carrying a billion zillion (exact count) items for my dad’s approaching party, it circled my feet multiple times, splaying out across the walk with a come hither pet me invite, belly exposed and legs bent laxly in the air. Silly thing, though I don’t know its name, gender or residence, it now regularly escorts me to and from my car as with the Bo-Bo kitties from times past.
Painting by Aaron Bolton
I’ve been befriended by a cat.
Wonders never cease!
When visiting a friend’s home, their cat, Roxy, takes no note of me. Nor, I her. However, I have wondered if she receives enough attention as I see her mill haplessly from this window to that, time and again, a lone wanderer in all her kittydom. I offer words of sweet nothing to my plant at home (thriving quite nicely!). Surely, I can spare a few words for a lowly cat, I thought one day last month, though, it be my very definition of a damnable adversary.
“Hey, pretty kitty.”
“Lovely furness you have there.”
“You’ve got gawgeous peepers!”
A story in which a demon kitty finds its way forceably down the throat of its victim only to maul, crawl, and brawl its way back out again
“Furry muffin bum,” and the like, escaped my lips regularly over the last month’s time. On the fourth day’s encounter, I was greeted with a glance and a “mreow”. The fifth day, a “mreow” and Roxy plopped down at my feet to stare up at me for better of an hour. In the days to follow, Roxy began following me about the house and has now effectively wormed her way into my good will. Or, I into hers. All seemingly from a few kind words of acknowledgment. Still, there remain moments where my heart quickens and I tense a bit in the fear of days past, particularly when she begins a slow, yet insistent, climb from my lap upward towards my face. “I’m breathing in actual kitty breath,” I think to myself and then, “I swear that cat wants in.” Recently, Bean implored me to read a short story by Stephen King, The Cat From Hell, full well knowing of my aversion to the feline persuasion. Sure enough, a story in which a demon kitty finds its way forceably down the throat of its victim only to maul, crawl, and brawl its way back out again via a nasty burrowing of the stomach. Talk about a furball! Happy to report Roxy has yet to find a way in.
I have a plan. Am currently attending a weekly bible study on the book of Esther and that means the evening kicks off with a bevy of edibles supplied by us, the attendees, on a rotating basis. Come my turn, along with something more of the tummy-filling variety, I shall take a hurkin’ bag of Dubble Bubble bubblegum. I smile with wicked glee at the thought of an entire room FULL of people just chomping away on little bits of sticky ooey-gooey, blobby-globby rubber with the thick heady wafted scent of nothing less than the equivalent of sweet pink elephants on parade! Thinking there needs to be an orchestration of synchronized bubble-blowing as well. Le Pop!
My bed broke. Would ya look at that! Slats began loosening last year and I’d sometimes awaken to a “ping!” as yet another board worked its staples loose in the dead of night. After losing the battle for reattachment via staples, more staples, nails, more nails and excessive amounts of glue, it came time for a new one. Love! Have long envied the bed of a close friend as hers is impossibly high, one must not only climb into, but onto, such a bed and I now feel like a princess, minus the pea problem, atop my very own impossibly high post. Lesson learned is, one not only looks under the hood, but apparently, under the mattress fabrication, though, it hardly rolls off the tongue the same way, yes?
Was at the library recently and upon awaiting assistance, what did mine wandering eyes but see? It’s an emu, it’s a zeppelin, it’s Captain Underpants! “May I ask whom I must speak with regarding the finding of one of those?” I enquired of the librarian renewing my card. “That would be me,” says a mildly portly man to her right decked out in an Army green t-shirt, longish waved, salt n’ pepper hair and full beard. He had pants on, too. He proceeds to give me a rundown of his collection, beginning with special edition book sets and posters and concluding with t-shirts and keychains, producing evidence of one such keychain on the spot. Not ten minutes later, I’m browsing the film section when the “pants” man approaches bearing a printed list of potential doll whereabouts. Yay! Wonderment: Do they make Captain Underpants undies?! Want. Called Bean promptly once I reached home to see if the little plastic marvel might be keeping residence in her store. It was not.
Decorated some Easter cookies this past week with my small-fry friends Samantha (Sam-a-lamma-sosa!) and Sophia (Sophster!) followed by the reading of new and marvelous children’s books. I know I’ve read them “right” with expression and various inflections when Sophie exclaims “You’we cwaaaaazy, Debwa!”
I require a firsthand account, gimme a pink hard hat and I’m set.
Yesterday we received a fairly nice dose of springish sunshine, so I headed to the big, big hill just down the way, following it to the tide flats, to Schnitzer Steel Industries where I was in need of some photos. Have driven and/or been driven by that place my entire life it seems, and I wanna go INSIDE. Entre vous! Pour moi. There are colossal heaps of scrapped car bodies dead and dying, their bright colors of red and green, blue and yellow, a mish-mash of metal for the processing. Next come similar piles, but the pieces are much smaller, dissected, and rusted. ALL rust! Traveling on, one sees flames projecting upward from the final mound of long expired remnants of things past. Why flames, I wonder? What’s the whole process, how long to build up a mountainous mass, how high is allowable, is the metal treated to create rust purposely, where does that final pile end up, do they ever run outta room, who pays for it all, and what’s the oddest thing they’ve ever found lurking about amongst the piles? I require a firsthand account, gimme a pink hard hat and I’m set.
Spent much of the night, late night, performing the Easter meal test. Have chosen a brisket based event versus a hamfest and am not gonna be one of those notorious folks to serve up dry and unsavory shoe leather come the big day! Hence, said test. All went swimmingly! Below, the veggies, baby carrots, parsnips, red pearl onions and garlic have just been added to a rich stock of sliced onion, bay leaf and Merlot, among others, for their go in the oven. Tip: Mild squinting on your part allows for the veggies to almost appear done, as intended. Please visually interject several bunches of strategically placed fresh green bay leaves strewn about amongst the meat and vegetables, all on a large white platter and voila- holiday merriment! Can smell that stock even now … ♦
Here’s a bit of catch-up-doing from the last several months, a whirlwind of roadside attractions, mostly pleasant, and a few, not so much.
Back in August, we hosted our own roadside attraction with a go at a super-belated, afore-mentioned home warming party. Hey, anything to justify a large arrangement of glorious sunflowers! And mounds of food, too. There was much ado, including hours spent (thanks, Jess) rolling up bits of brownie into little balls and then rolling them in cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar for a dessert entitled Poo-Poo Surprise (for our aunt, who has an abundance of her own kind of poo-poo surprise out on her animal farm). My sister made her specialty, Weenies with Coats, and I covered the chicken, pasta and salad categories. The whole affair cemented the fact that I absolutely love entertaining for masses of people!
After much fun was had on a canoe trip at the UW Waterfront Activities Center with my friend Shannon, I’d been itching to return, taking anyone and everyone I could get to jump in a boat and paddle through canals, under overpasses and out into the deep and rougher waters. However, a trip with my sister turned out to be overly abundant in water. As the raindrops began to fall, Bean was urging me to lead us back in towards the dock, but I insisted that it was just sprinkling, nothing of significance. We continued on, paddling our way over to an inlet where a small beaver dam was nestled, and promptly saw a critter. A beaver? Noooooo, it was the largest beaver-sized flippin’ rat I’ve ever seen. I think it ate the beaver. A half hour later, we made our way back, as the “sprinkling” picked up and quickly turning to a downpour. Gonna hold off until spring to pick the paddles back up again.
With September, came our annual trip to the Puyallup Fair! I seem to love it more each year that passes as the memories stack up and the nostalgia builds. I don’t understand the kinda folks who call the fair a waste of money, as there are dozens of free things to attend and do. The fun lies in your level of participation.
That’s Roberto the Magnificent, formerly part of a juggling duo that has been featured at the fair for over ten years. Though partnerless this time around, he was just as charismatic and goofy, if not more so. A good thing! He peddled about on an impossibly tall unicycle paying his own personal tribute to the King in between acts to drum up an audience. Bean was her own attraction of sorts, as she lugged the Boo’s around, that is, Boo and Boo II, as previously mentioned in blogs past. Little girls pointed and waved as we made our way around the grounds. :)
The food, the most fabulous and yes, not so good for you, food to be had in the way of fair food. Here, my dad’s noshed on onion burger, no cheese, extra mustard.
Followed quickly by fruit-on-a-stick, strawberries, yum! Currently, in my top five of all-time favorite foods, chocolate, or not.
My mom and I took advantage of one of the last days of sunshine with a walk in the rose gardens at the Pt. Defiance Zoo. My mom got caught up in snapping photos and meandered a bit too close to a Samoan wedding party. If I wasn’t so busy snapping my own shots below, I could have warned her that she was backing into their back row of outdoor seating. With the men dressed in long white shorts and deep red button-downed shirts, and the women coordinated in red and white sarongs, all with lei necklaces, they were a delight to view.
I love this shot with the bumblebee peeping out, the little guys look like they’re made of velvet.
This is one of the many lovely works of chalk art found out along the Tacoma UW campus pathways last month. Gone now, I’m sure, what with our massive torrents of rain as of late.
I was a roadside attraction myself recently. Or rather, my car was. I was dreadfully sick, rare, as I can still count on two hands the number of times I’ve been sick over the last ten years which makes up for the teen years, I suppose, when I was always seemingly under the weather. I’d been tossing and turning all night and into the early morning, having just begun to dose off, at last, when the sound of a car horn went off. And kept going off. A huge groan as I dragged myself out of bed to open the blinds and see if anyone else was at their window peering out to see the nut whose alarm was blaring. It was a constant tone, none of that patterned honking that I’ve previously heard from somewhere out in the parking lot. Between the congestion built up in my head and the ear plugs in my nightstand, I was able to fall to sleep shortly after 4:30 a.m., a while after the alarm had begun, with only a faint drone of the still blaring horn in the background.
I had no voice, whatsoever
I abruptly woke to my cell phone ringing, noticing the sound of the continuing horn, when there was a knock at the door. I stumbled out of bed, grabbing the phone and with blurry eyes, tried to make out who was calling, as I went to the front door. Opening the door to find a young boy standing there, I saw that it was the apartment complex calling. The boy asked if I owned the little red car outside with the car alarm going off since early this morning. I opened my mouth to tell him that, yes, I own a little red car, but that, no, it doesn’t have an alarm, only to find that I had no voice, whatsoever. In the past, I’ve lost my voice in such a way that it cracks on every fifth word, or so, or deepens so that I sound like a bullfrog, but this time, there was nothing at all. He stepped back a bit, and I closed the door, shaking my head.
Back at the window, I saw a mob of kids standing around along the sidewalk near my car, waiting for the school bus. Dilemma: Fifteen torturous minutes left until the bus arrives … let the kids wait it out, or go down to check out why the heck my car is sounding its barbaric yawp? I feared facing all those little people without the vocal ability to apologize as I walked, to explain that I have no alarm, and have no idea why my car is upset. I chose the way of the chicken. Baquock! I felt a tinge bad leaving those kids out there to steep in that horrid sound awhile longer. Some had been pacing, hands over their ears, while others lamented, “Please! Make it stop!”
Then, then, I recalled the summer’s worth of loopy children yelling at each other late into the night, barking like animals, screaming like banshees, you know, normal kid’s stuff, but without the supervision of parents reigning them in, because they lounged in their master bedrooms unaffected facing outward from the building, completely on the other side. The kids often awoke bright and too early to resume the night’s activity. Sooo, a little sweet revenge. By way of natural occurrence and therefore, I plead not evil.
I sheepishly waved him over
Once the kids piled on the bus, I timidly approached my car, unhappy to see that a young guy was making his way out of the building across the way and would likely intersect with me and my car. Speeding up wasn’t gonna help and walking way slow wasn’t either, so I bit the bullet as they say, and continued to my car. The guy called out, “Annoying isn’t it?” with a smile on his face and a nod to my car. The smile was all I needed and I sheepishly waved him over so that he could hear my attempt at whispering an explanation. After I told him how I spent part of the early morning completely ticked at the nut with the blaring car alarm, I discovered, I was that nut. A little hoopla and further maneuvering, and the worn out horn fuse was removed leaving, sweet, sweet silence.
Here are a few shots of the abundant fall decor, currently all over our place, in honor of the fast-approaching Thanksgiving holiday. Come Friday, Christmas explodes! Can’t wait for my first super tall tree. Thank you, high ceilings.
My dad has a mild thing for politics, oddly, more so for the buildings in which the politics reside, all that marble and regal decor, he says, so down to Olympia to visit our state capitol, we ventured recently. In the library, I found a quiet spot near a large window at the end of several rows of shelves filled to the ceiling with law books. I chose volume 716 from a nearby set (my 5th favorite number). My phone began ringing and I looked up to see Bean standing on the floor above me, leaning over the railing. She lifted Puppy D., her 22 yr old stuffed dog from her bag, and because, try as we may, being grown up just doesn’t have the same fun without a little childish play interjected, down Puppy D. dropped for a visit. We spent a few good minutes tossing that dog up and down between floors, trying to capture a good shot of her in transit, taking care not too be overheard by the stern woman sitting aways away at the desk out front.
…..as well as this squirrel. The little guy, was down for the count, as though he was just taking a short nap, rather than having croaked. A bit grody maybe. But, fascinating. Awww, grody and fascinating … Stephen King …
Yes, Bean and I went to hear the man speak a few weeks back, the day after Halloween to be specific. Wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised to find that he was completely real. He donned a pair of worn-in blue jeans, classic black Converse and a faded black t-shirt. There was a podium in the middle of the stage, but he chose to wander as much as the none-too-cooperative clip microphone allowed. He opened with a mild rant on his loathing of cell phones, and continued on in run-on ramblings that all somehow led back into a brief reading from his latest work, Lisey’s Story. He answered audience questions, all with a self-mocking humor, not too much mind you, that had me thinking he could do stand-up on occasion. The audience apparently agreed, with their frequent laughter.
The next time I thought of it, of course
Two highlights: He shared a time that he was at the market when a hobbly, little, old lady made her way up to him from behind a cart and said, “I know who you are! You’re that Stephen King.” To which he replied, “Gee, thanks, guess I don’t have to worry about figuring out who I am TODAY!” She then said, “You write all those horrible stories about evil. Why don’t you write something nice like that Shawshank Redemption?” He said, “Well, I did. I wrote that.” In a huff, she hobbled away, pushing her cart and shaking her head. Love that! He talked about how he’s always been one to check behind the door, look in the car backseat, and that hmmm, maybe we’d be wise to do the same upon leaving that night and heading home. He spun this great “what if” situation where you found yourself being told about all the potential doom to be had on the way. The next time I thought of it, of course, was driving to a friend’s house on a stormy night, to babysit in a dark house. Sure, I laughed at remembering the humor in having Mr. King spin a tail of heebie-jeebies, but you bet your boots that I checked behind the door that night and the backseat, too. ♦