Saturday, September 04, 2004

Hide Me

I'm avoiding work. I want to get the rest of these articles done this weekend so I can start on and finish the next 50 and get this job out from under. I'm up to my gray roots in vitamins, amino acids, minerals, weight lifting diets, and exercises.

I did take a little time out to visit with someone I knew in high school, Sara. Everyone knew her big brother, Bart, who was very hot, not to mention rocket scientist smart, friendly, gorgeous, and an all round favorite with students and teachers alike. Now he's a pediatrician in Tennessee and has a book for sale on on preemies. Sara is struggling thru her Master's and having major doubt problems, the bane of all writers. She doesn't claim to be a writer, but she is obviously good enough to have made to the graduate program. She needs confidence in herself and a big dose of procrastination STOP. I gave her all mine so I could keep procrastinating.

The sky is a slatey blue-gray and it has rained off and on all day. In fact, a rain-laden breeze swirled thru my bedroom window this morning and woke me up, calling me to come dance with the raindrops. I tried to go back to sleep but the clean, rainy breeze just wouldn't let me alone and I had to get up and follow the call.

Once outside, while hanging the hummingbird feeder and saying good morning to all my plants still out on the deck, I felt more like taking off and exploring the woods and vales and just walking until I couldn't walk any more, but I went back inside, said good morning to all my plants inside, watered them, pollinated a few new pepper blossoms, and picked a couple carrots to take upstairs with me while I answered my email and started working.

All day I've been antsy, wanting to get out of here, go dancing, pull a Maria and wander the alpine meadows under the sun and rain and dance among the rocks and trees. I feel far too good to sit inside and research more information about nutrition and body building. But I have to be good. I have to earn a living. I have to finish this so I can move onto something else that might pay a few more pennies and give me time to go back out and enjoy the sunshine or rain or whatever the weather sends. I'm stuffed full of information and it needs to settle before I ingest any more, but I have to work.

So, instead I'll think about Nona since she's been on my mind since yesterday.

Thinking back to Salt Lake City and rooming with Nona is a mixed back of bad and really, really bad. She was a flake of the first order, but she was cousin to a friend of mine back at Hill AFB. He thought he was doing me a favor when I was separating from Dave and waiting for the divorce hearing to come up. So I decided to move in with Nona. We had separate bedrooms, except at night when she crept in to watch me sleep. I didn't know it at the time...or at least I didn't know about it until I woke one night to find her about to plunge a very big and very sharp shiny knife into my chest. When I woke up and caught her she pretended she didn't know where she was and tried to pass it off as having multiple personalities. "What time is it? Where am I?" she asked without one bit of sincerity. Oh, she would have sounded sincere to someone who wasn't the target for her midnight plunge, but not to me.

Nona also had a thing about men. She couldn't leave them alone. I wasn't kidding when I said she should have had a revolving door on her bedroom and a parking meter by the bed. Men were in and out of the apartment so much we should have hired a doorman and a waiting room the size of an airport hangar, but it would still have been crowded. At least she was consistent and she had a lot of fun. I had fun just watching. I used to sing, "Cain't Say No," Ado Annie's song from the musical Oklahoma, to her all the time whenever she mentioned a new guest for the nonce.

Whut you goin' to do when a feller gits flirty
And starts to talk purty? whut you goin' to do?
S'posin' 'at he says 'at yer lips're like cherries
Er roses, er berries? Whut you goin' to do?
S'posin' 'at he says 'at you're sweeter 'n cream
And he's gotta have cream er die?
Whut you goin' to do when he talks that way
Spit in his eye?

That's just part of the song, but she was true to song. Couldn't resist a guy with a gleam in his eye and a line a mile long. Didn't matter. He was it for the nonce.

Our apartment had a balcony that faced a drive-in theater. One of her fellers rigged up a receiver for us, found the frequency, and we'd sit out on the balcony and watch/listen to the movies for free. We were up high enough to see over the big fence.

Cheap entertainment: Movies every night and Nona's fellas.

Wonder what happened to Nona.

I'll shut up now. Enough nostalgia even for me and I really should get back to work, but I think I'll turn the stereo up really high and sing and dance for a while. Gotta get rid of all this energy.

Friday, September 03, 2004

News from the mountains

Okay, I'll make a real post.

Things are looking up and down for me.

The down part is a paycheck that was not deposited and it looks like I'll have to wait for them to work it out. I hope my landlords don't kick me out of my happy cabin in the mountains in the meantime. They probably won't (just yet) because I have been a good tenant who paid on time and in full for a whole year.

As a matter of fact, today is my anniversary or birthday or celebration or something. Today I have been in my secluded cabin in the Rockies for exactly one year. Talk about a great way to celebrate. Thank the god/desses I have plenty of water in the well and enough masa to make tortillas for probably another year. LOL It's not that bad, but nearly that bad. That's what happens, kiddies, when you give all your money to help someone start a television program and they never pay you back. That money is looking real good right now, but it ain't coming over to this side of the Divide for sure.

Oh, yeah, the good news. I got two more clients today. It's not much money, but if they like my work it could turn into a permanent slave position for below slave wages. I need lots of those. It's not like I have a social life. I've heard of them, but I don't have one. Someone is going to have to remind me what that is beyond the words. I understand the concept but I sure don't remember how it goes. Sort of like doing the two-step. I can see the steps, but my feet and legs can't seem to get the rhythm down. Too many years between Urban Cowboy and me.

Yes, kiddies, I actually used to go to Country & Western bars and dance my boots off.

I remember this one bar in Salt Lake City. It was called The Westerner Club. I used to go there on the weekends with a friend, and sometimes during the week. During the week the bandstand was pushed up until this huge hangar-like bar dance hall was about one-third the size. They had four or five bars and a huge dance floor when it was opened all the way up. There were the regulars and girls like me and my roommate, Nona.

I haven't thought about this in centuries.

Anyway, Nona was the kind of girl who had a revolving door on her bedroom and a parking meter by the bed. She loved men -- constantly. She worked as manager of a hot dog stand in Trolley Square. Her stand was like a trolley car and it looked out over the whole trolley garage. But I digress.

We'd go down in my company car, a Volkswagen Rabbit with the stick shift and the diesel engine. In fact, I learned to drive stick on that car in the midst of traffic on the hills and freeways around Salt Lake City. It was an interesting excursion, but I learned fast. Good thing. I can still remember thinking I'd end up like Bill Cosby in his first stick shift on the hills of San Francisco -- starting my own parking lot at the light.

Wednesday nights at The Westerner Club were the most active during the week. There was one guy, a runty little guy with muscles in his eyelids that bulged like he'd been doing clean and jerks with his lashes. He was so muscle bound his arm stuck out to the side and he couldn't pull them close to his body. He made his circuits of the dance floor winking and nodding to the women hoping someone would take him up on his offer to dance. Only the newbies did. It only took once to figure out he couldn't dance and that all those muscles kept you from getting too close, which was a very good thing. His cologne was enough to gag a mountain goat.

There was another guy, the kind we called a goat roper, a sort of cowboy who had the clothes and the walk down, but you were quite sure if he could ride a horse, break a Brahma bull, or even knew where the open range actually was. He was kind of cute with his starting ZZ Top beard and his crumpled ten-gallon hat. There was some talk that he was wearing it on the wrong head, but I'm sure he was ambi-headed. He used to wear the neatest slides on his spiffy string tie. He made them himself, or rather carved them himself. One was my favorite. It was a beautifully carved and painted pair of breasts with nipples that didn't point up. I asked him about it and we ended up becoming dance partners for a long time. He knew how to dance and could two-step better than anyone on the floor. We had a lot of fun in those days after I split from my first husband and lived in Salt Lake for a while. Truckers, dancing, good music and The Charley Daniels band and the Devil Went Down to Georgia.

Thursday, September 02, 2004


Today is my father's 77th birthday and my parents' 54th anniversary. Dad is a smart man. He'll never forget his anniversary as long as he remembers his birthday.

There was a time when I couldn't imagine my father staying with my mother this long. But despite all appearances to the contrary they really love each other. My mother constantly says she doesn't love my father and that he doesn't love her, but it's a Shakespeare line: Methinks the lady doth protest too much. My mother is oftentimes full of sound and fury signifying nothing, but she does have a good heart even if she is easily distracted. She is ruthlessly possessive at times and completely loyal to those she loves, but she just cannot stand not having the last word. Her favorite trick is to hang up when a conversation or discussion is going her way on the phone and she doesn't apologize for it either. She may cool down later and call back asking if you're ready to listen, but she will still have the last word. It took more than half my life to figure out that sometimes it isn't necessary to win an argument or have the last word, especially with my mother. So I keep some of my opinions to myself, nod and smile, seemingly in agreement with her, but we both know the truth.

My father is the quiet type and scatters praise like a miser scattering coins to the masses. If he says anything at all it's, "It's nice" or "That's nice," and nothing else. I've learned to read between the lines. Dad came from a dirt poor family and his mother died when he was ten years old. His father liked booze a bit too much and when Grandma died went in with a couple of friends and ran a still. Well, the revenooers found the still and my grandfather on duty and he went to jail for two years rather than give up his buddies. There's a strong loyal streak on both sides of my family.

Dad is friendliness personified and if anyone wonders where I get my gregarious nature you don't have far to look. It's a Cornwell trait. We never met a stranger, just friends we haven't met. Dad, like most of the people in my family, true to their Cherokee heritage, is stoic and would rather go to work half dead than stay home in bed. He can cook, sew, and curl little girls' hair into ringlets and Shirley Temple curls. He has an artistic and generous soul and the most incredible open smile. He wasn't demonstrative when I was growing up, but I've broken him to the hug at last.

Mom's histrionic at times and Dad's quiet and prefers the path of least resistance to an argument. They are an odd couple, but they're both interesting and loving people. And they're my parents.

Monday, August 30, 2004


I missed three days of posts. Can that be possible? Have I completely lost track of the time or did I just have nothing to say? Me, nothing to say? Perish the thought.

Endless games of Mah Jong, writing in my paper journal, trying to get thru another book that could be wonderful if it weren't for the lousy grammar and even lousier word choices, and fending off rodents who are determined to eat my brand new tender plants, and bidding on jobs, two of which I didn't get. But I got one of them this morning: One hundred 200-300-word articles on weight lifting, body building, nutrition, and health for a whopping $100. Gotta start somewhere. The guy is looking for someone who can do the job quickly and use some key words and asked me to give him a sample. I wrote a 625-word article on working the biceps, using the phrase working the biceps once in the title and twice in the article. I did it. He was impressed and now I have 100 very short articles to write, which comes out to about 33/100 of one cent per word. Big pay for a writer of my caliber, but you gotta start somewhere. He says he will have more money for more articles later and wants to build a relationship with a good writer. I have, however, figured out how to snag these Rent-A-Coder assignments--give them a sample up front and dazzle them with your writing skills. That's how the other jobs were cut out from under me. Well, that and quoting really, really, REALLY cheap prices. Gotta pay the rent and buy food somehow.

After reading the good news, I decided to go downstairs to go to the bathroom again (thanks to [info]elementalmuse who seems to have somehow attached her diet to my bladder -- she calls it sympathetic peeing) and stopped outside on the deck to check my plants, give them a drink and just drink in the clear mountain air and sunshine for a few minutes before I came back upstairs to rent myself out as cheaply as possible. While I was enjoying the view and the air, a little female hummingbird flew over me and perched a mere four inches from my hand and just ruffled her feathers and whistled at me. Lesbian bird, I thought at first, but I think she was just saying hello. She knows who feeds her. I talked her to her and she inched a little closer before finally flying away, circling my head once and whistling as she darted into the trees. It was a remarkable feeling having her so close and so unafraid of me. I just wish I could scare away the chipmunks and squirrels who have developed a taste for my flat leaf Italian parsley ever since I covered the new seeds in the covered tray so they can grow uneaten.

I noticed that [info]mentalfuse finally made a double appearance when I was reading the journals I missed over the weekend and wrote some pretty interesting stuff about books and authors. About time he showed up. I was about to send out the blood hounds to find him and bleed him dry.

In the meantime, I'm going to shut up early. I just realized it's dark outside and I left the hummingbird feeder on the deck where the ravenous raccoons are sure to plunder the syrup and spill it all over the railing and deck to attract ants and keep the hummingbirds away. So, disperse.